INKSTER (WWJ) – Police are investigating a fatal shooting in Inkster near an area where two people were killed in crimes that might be tied to the same suspect.

The incident unfolded around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at a public housing complex near Inkster and Annapolis roads when people in two different vehicles exchanged gunfire, according to police. One of the vehicles involved in the shooting also crashed into a nearby home.

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Two men were struck in the crossfire. One was shot dead at the scene. Another was wounded but managed to run to Inkster Road where he flagged down a Wayne County Sheriff’s deputy who then took him to the hospital. His injuries were described as non-life-threatening.

The gunman remains at large. Michigan State Police say the suspect could be driving a black-colored Bonneville with tinted windows.

Anyone with information on the shooting or the suspect is urged to contact police at 734-287-5000.

Alfred Austin, Sr., who identified himself at the scene as the slain victim’s father, said he doesn’t know why anyone would want his 28-year-old son, Alfred Austin, Jr., dead.

“He was shot three times,” Austin told WWJ’s Charlie Langton. “I just seen him yesterday morning. Every morning he get up and go get his coffee from Inkster Road and Van Born. So, I don’t know why he come from around this circle here and circle to get over there to get ambushed by someone.”

It’s not yet know if this shooting is related to two recent murders in the city that were possibly carried out by the same suspect — the so-called “Craigslist killer.”

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The first incident happened on January 31, when 53-year-old James Nguyen was found shot in his car off Magnolia near Michigan Avenue and Inkster Road. Then on February 7, a man was pronounced dead at a local hospital after being found unresponsive on Glennwood, also near Inkster Road — about half-a-mile from the first shooting. He had also been shot in his car, according to police.

State Police Lt. Mike Shaw told WWJ that both victims appear to have been lured to their deaths, which are likely connected.

“We do know that they’re following the same trend of people being lured in for a Craigslist (online classifieds) transaction,” Shaw said. “There are a lot more similarities between the two particular cases than there are differences. We’ll go ahead and put it that way. … It’s possible that this could be the same group of individuals, or the same person.”

The suspect in the first shooting is described as a 30-year-old lighter-skinned black male, around 5 feet, 7 inches tall. He was wearing a dark gray hooded, zippered jacket and Timberland boots. He was seen by witnessed running from the scene. The suspect in the second shooting was described as black male with dreadlocks, wearing a dark-colored coat.

Anyone with information about any of these crimes is asked to call 1-800-MICH-TIP or Crime Stoppers at 1-800 SPEAK UP.

 

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