Arrest made in shooting over shoes in Detroit

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Detroit police are working to find suspects in a shooting Tuesday, possibly involving gym shoes, that left a 17-year-old dead and two others wounded on the city’s west side.

Someone called 911 at about 2 p.m. to report an accident in the 15000 block of Pinehurst, said officer Dan Donakowski, a spokesman for the Detroit Police Department. When officers arrived, they learned the teen and a 20-year-old man both had been shot.

Later, police learned that a third person, a 19-year-old man, had been wounded in the shooting. While hospitalized at St. John Hospital, he was put into police custody, said Officer Jennifer Moreno, a Detroit Police Department spokeswoman.

Investigators are still piecing together what led to the incident, but the gunfire “might have been over some gym shoes,” said Donakowski, who wasn’t able to identify the type of sneakers worn by the victims.

For almost three decades, there have been reported killings and muggings in which criminals target victims wearing the popular and expensive Nike Air Jordan shoes inspired by former pro basketball star Michael Jordan and sometimes other sneakers. Critics, who argue the sale of small quantities of new versions of the shoe spark the crimes, have claimed more than 1,000 people are killed in such incidents, according to an ABC News report.

The 17-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. The 20-year-old was rushed to a hospital for injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, Donakowski said. As of late Wednesday morning, no update on his condition was available.

The incident briefly prompted a lock-down at nearby Loyola High School, which is about a block north of the scene. Students were dismissed as usual once police gave the all-clear, administrators wrote on the school’s Facebook page.