DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A lawyer for the family of Terrance Kellom — a fugitive who was shot and killed in a Detroit home by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent — claims he was shot in the back.
Attorney Karri Mitchell said he’s seen photos and the body at the funeral home and there was at least one wound in Kellom’s back.
However, attorney David Griem, who represents the ICE officer who did the shooting, said he doubts that, and that Mitchell might have been looking at an exit wound.
Griem said Quinn fired the first shot at Kellom when Kellom lunged with a hammer. Kellom’s family members, who witnessed the incident, dispute that claim — saying Kellom was unarmed.
They now believe the alleged gunshot wound to the back supports their account.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig was speaking at a news conference on a different matter-when he asked about these latest developments.
“I have no comment; I make nothing of it,” Craig told WWJ’s Stephanie Davis and other reporters.
“I think that one would have to look at the entire investigative report. I think we have to wait and see what the finding that have to come out of the prosecutor’s office conducting an internal investigation.”
Craig cautioned those following the case not to jump to conclusions.
“We know when a person’s shot several times there could be wounds to the front, there could be some to the back,” said Craig. “It just depends.”
Kellom’s death on April 27 came amid a national debate over police conduct — particularly toward black men — following last summer’s fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
Rioting erupted in Baltimore following Freddie Gray’s death last month. Gray, a black man, was injured and died in police custody.
Kellom was black, as is the agent who shot him. Kellom was wanted on armed robbery and weapons charges.
Groups have protested his slaying, but the demonstrations have been peaceful.
Police have said Kellom lunged at ICE agent Mitchell Quinn with a hammer before he was shot in his father’s west side home. His father, Kevin Kellom, has disputed the police account.
An autopsy determined he had been shot multiple times, but Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy ordered the autopsy report not be made public. Her office is conducting a separate investigation into the shooting.
Maria Miller, spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office, cited the pending investigation Friday and declined to comment.
Mitchell said the release of the autopsy report “would create outrage” … “because of how many times” Kellom was shot “and where he was shot.”
Also on Friday, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters pointed to the Brown and Gray cases – and the January beating of a black motorist by a white Inkster police officer – as he called for a review of the nation’s criminal justice systems.
Peters, speaking at Wayne State University, said the last comprehensive federal review of criminal justice systems in the United States was in 1965.
In April, the Michigan Democrat helped introduce legislation to create the National Criminal Justice Commission which would complete the comprehensive review. The board would propose reforms to address the most pressing issues.
“Whether we are talking about Inkster, Ferguson or Baltimore, the relationship between law enforcement and our communities is strained,” Peters said, “and we face serious issues in our criminal justice system from unsustainable costs to overcrowded prisons to disparities in the grand jury process.”
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