Daughter: Dad's killing in rivalry shootout 'just sad'

James David Dickson
The Detroit News
Phillip Hudson poses with his daughter, Tamya Hudson.

Two men meet at a gas station on Detroit's west side.

One man, Phillip Hudson, gets off his motorcycle. The other, Martez Fenderson, gets out of his minivan. Both pull guns, then pull triggers. Both wind up dead, covered by the same white tarp, as investigators tried to make sense of their shootout.

The fatal confrontation took place early May 24 at the Clark gas station on the 15900 block of Schaefer at Puritan.

The day of the shooting, the 25-year-old Fenderson's family and fellow members of the Soul Devils motorcycle club rushed to the scene, sometimes sharing stories and memories with reporters, but mostly supporting one another and shedding tears for their fallen loved one.

A week after the shooting, one of Hudson's four daughters, Tamya Hudson, 18, asked forgiveness for her father's role in the deadly duel and offered forgiveness for Fenderson.

The fatal confrontation took place early May 24 at the Clark gas station on the 15900 block of Schaefer at Puritan.

"We're not mad at (Fenderson's family), and we don't want them to be mad at us," Hudson said. "It's just sad."

Her father, Hudson said, "was always the life of the party, always wanted to have fun."

Phillip Hudson, 39, was a member of the Outlaws motorcycle club, but police knew almost immediately that the shootout was not about his club affiliation. 

Police describe the shootout as the result of a love triangle: two men who were, or had been, romantically involved with the same 25-year-old woman, showing up at a west side gas station to settle a score with one another. 

Because both men are dead, police are treating the matter as a closed case, said Officer Dan Donakowski, a Detroit Police Department spokesman.

"You can't prosecute the dead," Donakowski said.

The woman was questioned by police the day of the shooting, but never was considered a suspect, Donakowski said. 

Hudson said her plan had been to attend Eastern Kentucky University, and study to become an emergency room nurse, but she has to work through her grief first.

"Everything is on hold," Hudson said. "I'm still kind of lost right now. I don't want to start and not be able to focus, so I'll wait."

To Hudson and stepsister LaMikah Burdette, 15; and sisters Shyan Conner, 11 and Priscilla Hudson, 6, their father Phillip was a kind, hard-working man who was always proud of his daughters, never too busy to steer them in the right direction, even if it meant learning from his mistakes.

For those who will never meet him, Hudson hopes her father will be remembered as a businessman who had his own trucking practice, a family man who loved his daughters, and a friend who enjoyed riding with his club — "those were his brothers," his daughter said.