Prosecutor wants more details in pastor shooting case

Oralandar Brand-Williams

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office is asking for additional details before it decides whether to issue charges against a Detroit pastor in the fatal shooting of a church member, the prosecutor announced Thursday.

“The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office has returned the warrant request in this case and has requested further investigation from (The Detroit Police Department) in the case where it is alleged that a pastor fatally shot Deante Smith,” according to the release from the prosecutor’s office.

The pastor, whose named has not been released since no charges have been filed, is accused of shooting Smith to death Oct. 18 during church services at the City of God Ministry on Grand River near Lahser on Detroit’s west side.

According to police, the pastor said Smith attacked him with a brick before the preacher shot the man with a Glock handgun. Smith was shot about 15 minutes after the start of the 1:30 p.m. Sunday service at the church.

The pastor was not arrested and has been cooperating with authorities, police said.

There are allegations the incident and shooting centered around a love triangle. Smith had allegedly told friends and others on Facebook the pastor had impregnated his wife.

Friends said the couple had once lived with the pastor, whom Smith considered a mentor.

“He never brought beef to anybody,” Smith’s sister, Deja Ward, said of her brother. “He wanted closure so he could start counseling. I guess it turned a whole other way.”

In a Sept. 15 post on Facebook, Smith, 26, of Detroit wrote: “That wasn’t my baby that was (his wife) and pastor(’s) baby.”

On Sept. 16, he wrote that he planned to attend services at the church. “Can’t wait to see Sunday message at the City of God Ministry,” he wrote. “I’ll be there with the truth.”

Smith also wrote that day: “This (expletive) gonna hit the fan.”

That preceded a Sept. 18 rant: “This (expletive) got my (expletive) pregnant. Tick tock (expletive) and everybody with you.”

Smith posted several times in the weeks leading up to his death about the pain he was feeling about the alleged affair. On Oct. 8, he wrote: “I’m hurting, yall.”

His posts appeared to concern friends, one of whom wrote on Oct. 13, “may I ask (what) is going on with you?”

Smith replied: “I’m crazy they call me S.O.N.I.C.”

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Detroit News Staff Writer George Hunter contributed.