Police perplexed, angry over spate of Detroit shootings

James David Dickson
The Detroit News
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Detroit police say they are perplexed and angry over the spate of shootings in Detroit that have injured or killed children.

The shooting of a 4-year-old in the 18300 block of Monica on Saturday is the latest in a string of violence against children on the city’s streets in less than a month. Two other children were shot and killed on Easter and on April 16 in what police are calling suspected gang-related shootings and which are believed to be connected.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig is expected to address at a news conference Monday the recent violence that has snagged yet another child in another bloody weekend.

The latest shooting on the west side appears to have happened as a father was teaching his 4-year-old boy to ride his bike about 5 p.m. Saturday, police said. The 24-year-old father was killed in the incident on Monica.

Detroit police are asking for the public’s help tracking the whereabouts of two masked gunmen and have said they are baffled why anyone would target a child.

“It’s extremely hard on the community and on the responding officers,” said Deputy Chief Steve Dolunt. “It’s hard to make any sense of it. There used to be a code among criminals: You don’t mess with kids or senior citizens, but that seems to be gone.

“ ... Why would you shoot a kid? I don’t get it. I don’t understand the mindset, but we’re constantly trying to figure this out, but the problem is, how do you get into the mind of someone with a total lack of regard for life? It makes you speechless. I can’t understand it.”

In the Saturday incident, police said two men wearing ski masks emerged from a gray Chevy Equinox and started shooting. The 4-year-old was listed in temporary serious condition, said Officer Nicole Kirkwood.

The masked men were last seen heading south on Monica, which is west of Livernois and south of Seven Mile. Police ask anyone with information to call the homicide section at (313) 596-2260.

Saturday’s incident follows the fatal shooting of 3-year-old A’Naiya Denise Montgomery about 2 a.m. Easter morning on the 16800 block of Riverview on the west side.

One of three suspects held in the shooting, Paul Kendall Jr., 24, took his life Wednesday, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office said.

On April 16, 6-month-old Miracle Murray was killed as a 24-year-old man played on the front lawn of the home on Winthrop with two other children.

On Saturday, Miracle’s mother pleaded for her killer to come forward.

“I just hope somebody speaks up,” said Jennifer Murray, holding back tears.

“Turn him in, my baby didn’t deserve this.”

Dolunt, reflecting on what appeared to be the indiscriminate shootings of children, said more conflict resolution skills are needed.

“You just don’t shoot someone when you have a problem with them,” he said.

“(But) if you don’t respect yourself, how can you respect someone else?”


Staff Writer George Hunter contributed.

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