August 21, 2014 at 10:20 am

Detroit police investigating whether 3 shootings of gay, transgender men are related

Detroit — Police are looking into the possibility that the recent shootings of three men — one fatal — in the Palmer Park area may be related to their sexual orientations.

Police confirmed they are talking to a person of interest in the fatal shooting of one of the three victims, which took place in the morning hours of Friday.

At that time, the body of a man was found in the parking lot of the Palmer Park water park near Six Mile and Woodward. Police said he had been shot in the head.

Police said they haven’t determined if the victim was gay or transgender, but the area has long been associated with the gay community.

Within a week of that shooting, two gay or transgender men were shot in the same area. The shootings occurred late at night with both men surviving.

“There was a car chase as a result of the Aug. 15 fatal shooting,” Sgt. Michael Woody said. “The officer did not know if it was connected to the homicide. The car rolled, the driver bailed and was never caught. A weapon was discovered when the car was processed.

“We don’t know if it was connected to the shooting, but it might be.”

The weapon then led police to their person of interest who has been interviewed about the shootings. That person is not in custody at this time, according to authorities.

“There are a lot of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) who congregate in that area,” Woody said. “We’re not sure if the shootings were related or just happenstance. We’re looking into it but we can’t say they were definitely connected.”

TGreenwood@detroitnews.com
(313) 222-2345