DETROIT (WWJ) – The new year is off to a deadly start in the city of Detroit with at least 3 murders under investigation right now. The latest, happening Friday morning on the northwest side. A 24-year-old man shot dead during an attempted robbery.

Homicides were up nine percent last year, but  as WWJ’s Beth Fisher reports that’s not stopping some people from moving into the city.

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Twenty-nine young people are living in Detroit for a year as part of Challenge Detroit. Twenty-two-year-old Darin Gross  says the city needs to fill vacant lots and get more people to move to Detroit.

“These open buildings …can they be a business? Let’s , let’s think about it. You know, there’s a lot of places that someone would look at and say, ‘Knock, knock that down’ , while another person would say ‘That would be a great place to put a restaurant’ so I think that’s kind of, one of the things that we’re trying to do too is put a different perspective on what people think about these abandoned buildings & stuff & try to turn them into something good,” said Gross.

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Gross says he’d like to one day settle in Detroit;  he thinks crime will go down when more people move into the city.

“There’s crime everywhere. I think the main issue is filling up these vacant lots with buildings which we’re doing. It’s just a, it’s a long, long process and we’re doing it step by step,” he said.

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Gross says it’s been great having friends visit him in the city because he says there are tons of things to do in the city.