DETROIT (WWJ) – Two women and two men are dead — including a popular local pastor — following a shooting rampage in Detroit.
A manhunt for the suspected gunman, recent parolee Anthony George Davis, Jr., ended Monday afternoon after police chased him into the Toledo area where he fatally shot himself at a truck stop.
The first three killings took place before 9 a.m. at a Sunoco gas station on Fenkell Ave. between Telegraph Rd. and Lahser, in the city’s Brightmoor neighborhood.
Witnesses said Deacon Raphael Hall, known as “the Rev”, was pumping gas when he was gunned down along with two young women who were seated in an SUV.
“This is a very ugly scene,” WWJ’s Charlie Langton reported, just after 10 a.m. “In front of me there is an SUV; there are bullet holes in the SUV. I do see a man that’s on the ground — he’s definitely been shot. I also see a woman in the passenger’s seat, it appears she’s been shot.” The second female victim was in the back seat.
Police said a man in a gray Ford Focus, believed to be Davis, pulled into the gas station, and got into an argument with the mother of his child who was on the driver’s seat of an SUV. That’s when police say Davis opened fire, killing that woman, a second woman in the backseat, and Hall.
Early information is that Hall was the female driver’s father, and the second woman was a neighbor whom they were giving a ride to work. Both women were in their 20s.
Multiple witnesses heard the gunfire, which rang out at around 8:40 a.m. “A whole bunch of shots, like 30 shots,” one man told Langton.
Shortly after that triple shooting, police said the suspect drove to another location, about two miles away, in the 15000 block of Faust. Police said there the suspect “had words with” his adult male cousin, fatally shooting the man before fleeing in a blue Nissan Altima.
Speaking to reporters, Police Commander Jacqueline Pritchett warned that Davis was armed and dangerous.
“I think he’s a danger because he shot and killed four people earlier today, without provocation,” Pritchett said. “So the quicker that he is in custody, the better the city is.”
Early in the afternoon, police said Davis ditched the Altima in Van Buren Township, stole 2014 Ford Fusion and continued south to where he was located by police in Ohio.
Local resident Maurice Harden said he’s a family friend of Rev. Hall, who was a pastor at the Citadel of Praise and a well-known neighborhood figure.
“He was a great guy, he helped everybody around here, he stayed over here 30 years,” Harden said. “He gave parties, he gave neighborhood parties, he was the Rev!”
“I don’t get this,” Harden added. “This is crazy. This is real crazy.”
Although a motive for the killings is unknown at this time, police are calling it “a domestic situation” possibly involving a child custody issue. An investigation is ongoing.