Infant killed in drive-by, two suspects in custody
Detroit— On Easter Sunday, a deadly shooting of a 3-year-old girl stunned a neighborhood in the city.
On Saturday, another drive-by fatal shooting of a 6-month-old girl left another family reeling.
Now police are investigating a link between the two deaths three weeks apart: a possible gang-related retaliation for the Easter death.
Two suspects — who police believe were the driver and the gunman — were arrested Saturday, and police were searching for a third. No charges have been filed.
“We believe there is a link, a connection to this shooting,” said Officer Dan Donakowski, a spokesman for the Police Department, a connection highlighted by the police chief on Saturday. Police haven’t confirmed what provoked either shooting.
“We believe the individuals are connected to a street gang,” Police Chief James Craig said Saturday. “We don’t know what the dispute is about.”
Earlier Saturday, Craig said officers responded to the shooting at 1:30 p.m on the 18000 block of Winthrop near Clarita in the Seven Mile and Greenfield area on the city’s west side.
Craig said the infant girl and a 24-year-old man were both shot in the incident. The baby and man were playing with two other children, an 11-month-old and a 4-month-old, on the front lawn of their home when the shooting happened.
The other two children were not struck, the chief said Saturday as he stood near the scene of the incident. He said the suspects were in a car that drove by the house a couple of times before the shooting started.
On the first pass by the house, three suspects were in the car, Craig said. On the second drive by the house, there were two. One got out, stood across the street from the man and children and opened fire.
The car is described as late model silver Saturn SUV. Police do not yet have a license plate number.
Investigators say they know the identities of two of the suspects.
Craig said one suspect had already begun to use social media to create an alibi.
Police declined to elaborate on the details of when and where the suspects were taken into custody.
Craig said Saturday investigators believe the Winthrop shooting is connected to the Easter Sunday shooting on the west side when Anaiya Denise Montgomery, 3, died of multiple gunshot wounds when three men went to a home at 2 a.m. on the 16800 block of Riverview near West McNichols and Telegraph and fired shots.
Three men were arraigned this week in connection with that shooting, which also injured a 39-year-old man and a 24-year-old man.
The neighborhood where the shooting took place is on Winthrop, tree-lined side street off Seven Mile near Greenfield. A row of brick bungalow-style houses sit along the street.
Many of the street’s residents stood on the sidewalk or sat on porches watching police officers work the crime scene. Police tape cordoned off a section of the street in front of the house where the victims were shot.
Craig had urged the suspects behind Saturday’s drive-by shooting to turn themselves in.
“Turn yourselves in because we will find you,” the chief said. “That’s our promise today: We will find you. We know who you are. We will take you into custody.”
“I promise to this community, to this family, to the Detroit community, you will be arrested and it will happen soon.”
Hours later, two were in custody.
Leonard N. Fleming contributed.