Victim strikes back at would-be robbers in Detroit

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Two armed, would-be robbers ended up in the hospital Thursday night after their intended target returned fire on Detroit’s west side, police said.

At least one of the suspects started firing shots while trying to rob the man outside a bank near West Warren and Woodmont, said Sgt. Cassandra Lewis, a spokeswoman for the Detroit Police Department.

But the intended victim, who has a concealed pistol license, pulled out his weapon and “returned fire, striking both suspects,” she said.

Both were in custody at a local hospital Thursday night, Lewis said. Their conditions were not known.

The victim also was treated at a hospital, but his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, she said.

No other injuries were reported in the incident — among several in recent months involving Detroit crime victims shooting back to defend themselves.

In June, a 27-year-old woman shot a would-be teen carjacker in the arm; the next day, an east-side resident used a 9 mm Glock to open fire on five men who broke into her home.

This week, The Detroit News reported that self-defense shootings had fallen from 26 in 2014 to nine this year.

Police Chief James Craig — who last year made national headlines when he said “good Americans” with concealed weapons licenses could lower the crime rate — suggested that the trend meant criminals now understand that armed citizens would shoot back.

“I believe suspects know Detroiters will protect themselves when faced with an imminent threat, and that’s had an effect on crime,” he said. “It’s not the sole reason; I don’t want to take away from the good work our officers have done. But criminals have learned that CPL holders aren’t afraid to take action if they’re attacked.”