DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit police say a prayer vigil on the city’s west side turned into a deadly family feud with several people shot, a car wreck and multiple suspects under arrest.
“It appears we have eight people shot; two in custody, fleeing the scene; five in custody at the hospital that, instead of going to show support, decided to act stupid — we had to lock them up; and we have three weapons we’ve recovered,” Detroit Assistance Police Chief Steve Dolunt told WWJ’s Mike Campbell.
The situation unfolded just before 2 a.m. Friday after a prayer vigil near Patton and Kendall streets, in a neighborhood near Outer Drive and I-96.
As the vigil was wrapping up, a vehicle drove by and a gunman opened fire on the group of people standing outside. At least eight people were struck by gunfire; one man was killed.
Maurice Westley lives behind the house where the shooting took place.
“There was a short intermission and then I heard a different type of gun going off. People were screaming and yelling and banging on doors. The shots went off, back and forth for like five minutes, or even longer,” he said. “It’s a mess but I’m not surprised at all, not in this neighborhood.”
When officers arrived on the scene, a vehicle was speeding away from the home. Police pursued the vehicle for about two miles until it crashed into a fire hydrant and front porch of a home at Burt Road and West Chicago Avenue, near Rouge Park.
Police say a woman in the vehicle was ejected and declared dead at the scene. Another passenger who was in the back seat of the car is hospitalized in critical condition. Two other passengers were arrested.
It appears everyone involved in the shootout knew each other, Dolunt said, but other circumstances aren’t clear. At least one assault rifle was recovered.
“A lot of family members or extended family members have been shot in this. We’re still trying to determine how this occurred and why they’re targeting this particular family,” he said. “And it appears this family also had weapons. So, we’re trying to sort it out. It’s still a fluid scene.”
Police Chief James Craig said getting information from witnesses has been a problem for investigators, who are still trying to figure out what led to the shooting.
“I will tell you that we’ve gotten very little cooperation from the people involved in it so we’ve done a very thorough look, trying to piece together the events from last night,” Craig said. “We’re still investigating what was the nature of the argument and who actually did the shooting — we’re not certain.”
Senovia Alexander thinks the woman killed in the crash was her cousin, but she said police aren’t giving her any answers.
“We heard that there was a car crash. We have no idea of who was chasing them or nothing. They’re not letting us in the hospital, they’re not letting us identify the body. They asked us for a picture, we showed them a picture and we’re still left without no information,” she said. “They’re not even letting mothers to the people that’s at the hospital in the hospital at all. Our rights are being tooken (sic).”
Multiple relatives of those involved were also reportedly arrested at the hospital after an altercation broke out.
“We’re not ruling anything out, but it appears now from what we know that everybody at this location, st the shooting last night, were acquainted,” Craig said. “There was no retaliation at this point, not that we know of.”
An investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.
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