2 men charged in armed robbery, wounding of trans woman

Nicquel Terry
The Detroit News

Detroit— Two Detroit men have been charged in connection with the armed robbery of a transgender woman early Friday on the city’s west side.

The shooting, which left the 36-year-old victim seriously wounded, police said, came just days before Transgender Day of Rememberance. Monday’s event honors those who have lost their lives to violence against transgender people.

Authorities say around 1:50 a.m. Nov. 17, Charles Marion Brown, 21, and Jujuan Alexon Williams, 19, jumped out of a red GMC Yukon on the 17800 block of Woodward and told the victim to drop everything and run.

When the victim complied, dropping her purse and running, police say Brown used a semi-automatic rifle to fire five shots at the woman. Three bullets struck her, police say.

Detroit police gave chase as the men fled in the Yukon. Officers were able to arrest Williams when the Yukon jumped a curb and struck a concrete barrier near Russell and Canfield. Brown escaped on foot, but was arrested on Saturday, police said.

The nonprofit Fair Michigan Justice Project, which works with the Prosecutor’s Office and law enforcement to investigate crimes against the LGBT community, said it collaborated with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, who charged Brown and Williams in the Friday shooting.

“On the eve of the national Transgender Day of Remembrance, this case illustrates the horrific acts of violence to which transgender persons are subject,” said Fair Michigan President Dana Nessel said in a joint statement issued with the Prosecutor’s Office.

“We applaud the Detroit police officers, whose quick response and investigation brought the defendants into custody.”

Fair Michigan provides an investigator and a special prosecutor to solve and prosecute crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Charges against Brown include assault with intent to commit murder, armed robbery, use of a firearm in connection with a felony, felon in possession of a firearm and being a habitual offender (second offense).

Williams is charged with armed robbery resulting in serious injury, armed robbery, use of a firearm in connection with a felony, felon in possession of a firearm, and being a habitual offender (fourth offense).