Woman angry over Detroit home shoots it, gets arrested

Christine Ferretti and Holly Fournier,

A woman’s social media tirade over the fear of losing her Detroit auction home has prompted the city’s land bank to offer her a refund, but it also got her arrested.

Andrea Sheppard, who has not been charged with a crime as of Friday afternoon, identified herself in a profanity-laced Facebook video with her two young children, making threats and firing a gun outside a home on Greydale Street in the city’s northwest side.

In the footage, which garnered more than 741,000 views before it was taken down Friday afternoon, Sheppard directs her anger at the Detroit Land Bank Authority, which she contends sold her a home through its auction program and it’s now slated for demolition.

“Detroit is my home. This is where I’m from. I bought this house for these two children,” she said. “Somebody sold me a house that should have been on the (expletive) demolish (sic) list. Why would (there) be a house on the (expletive) sell list that should be demolished?

“You’re cheating me out of my (expletive) life,” she continued. “This is supposed to be a forever home.”

Soon after, Sheppard announces: “Guess what? I have my (expletive) piece.”

The video then captures her as she fires a single shot at the rundown property with a small girl dressed in a purple raincoat in her arm and a young boy standing silently nearby. Earlier in the video, Sheppard introduced her children, beckoning the boy into the frame.

She insisted she had the right to bear arms and authorities are “gonna lock me up soon as I post it on Facebook.”

Detroit Police Department spokesman Michael Woody said tips from the public led officers to the woman’s location, which was outside the city. She was taken into custody Friday afternoon.

The department is preparing a warrant package for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

The woman, he said, could be facing several charges, including: child endangerment, child abuse and reckless discharge of a firearm, he said. A final determination is expected early next week, pending review and approval of prosecutors. Child Protective Services are also involved, he said.

“She’s in custody and no longer a threat to the general public,” Woody said. “Her children are safe and healthy. We are pleased with the outcome.”

Sheppard argued in the video that officials were trying to take the home away from her and she would have no option but to live in a shelter.

But Craig Fahle, a land bank spokesman, said officials made efforts to assist Sheppard and the property wasn’t taken from her or slated for demolition.

“Ms. Sheppard has had difficulty with the renovation project she began,” Fahle said. “Since she purchased the property in March 2016 for $1,000, the DLBA has attempted to connect her with multiple organizations and resources that could have helped her with her project. The Detroit Land Bank will refund her $1,000 purchase.”

The city’s home auction program launched in May 2014 and requires buyers to meet rigorous requirements and deadlines for rehabilitating and occupying the homes.

Within six months of the closing date, a buyer must provide the land bank with a certificate of occupancy and demonstrate that the house has an occupant.

The policy allows the land bank to seize properties if new owners don’t hold up their end of the deal, but the authority provides extensions to those making good faith efforts on the rehabilitation.