Driver in chase that killed 2 kids charged with murder

George Hunter
The Detroit News

Detroit — The 29-year-old parole absconder who allegedly fled police and drove his car into a crowd on a residential street, killing two children, has been charged with murder.

Lorenzo Harris of Detroit reportedly drove his Chevrolet Camaro into two groups of children on Nottingham Street on the city's east side, killing 6-year-old Michelangelo Jackson and 3-year-old Makiah Jackson, and injuring three other children.

Harris is scheduled to be arraigned Saturday on two counts of second-degree murder, fleeing and eluding, first degree, leaving the scene of an accident when at fault causing death, reckless driving causing serious impairment, and carrying a concealed weapon, among other charges.

Michelangelo and Makiah were playing on the sidewalk outside a home Wednesday evening on Nottingham when they were killed. The car continued through front yards along the street, eventually hitting three more children and a 23-year-old woman before crashing into a porch.

The chase lasted a little over a minute and spanned 1.64 miles, with the Camaro averaging a speed of 95 mph, according to Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

At a vigil Thursday night after the crash, family friend Victoria Bell recounted the seconds leading up to the crash. She said she barely had enough time to jump out of the way and scream "watch out" before the Camaro raced up the curb and hit the children.

"I can see their faces now ... ," she said, her voice trailing off. "Oh, my God."

In the wake of the accident, Craig said his department is reviewing its pursuit policy.

Craig said the patrol supervisor reported trying to call off the chase, though police do not yet have confirmation of that. Police didn't find a gun in the Camaro, despite reports from officers that they gave chase because they saw a weapon, Craig said.

Harris and his passenger were arrested after the crash. The passenger has not been charged.

Harris is on parole for a 2006 methamphetamine possession case. He was listed by state Corrections officials as absconding Feb. 25, 2014. Records show he also served time for assault, attempted carrying a concealed weapon, resisting a police officer and receiving stolen property.

Harris is to be arraigned in 34th District Court in Romulus.

Staff Writer Mark Hicks and Associated Press contributed.