Police: Detroit double homicide suspect arrested in VA

James David Dickson
The Detroit News
James Fleming

Detroit — A man wanted after allegedly killing a security guard and a resident at a senior center in Detroit was arrested by authorities in Richmond, Virginia, on Monday, local authorities said.

James Fleming, 69, faces two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of assault with intent to murder, six counts of felony firearm, as well as one count each of being a felon in possession of a firearm, second-degree criminal sexual assault, and kidnapping.

Fleming initially was reported to have surrendered to Virginia authorities. Late Monday, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office released a statement saying the U.S. Marshals Service "confirmed that he was arrested by local police and turned over to the U.S. Marshals in Richmond."

Police say that at 9:35 p.m. Tuesday, Fleming and a 30-year-old woman allegedly were taking drugs in his apartment on the ninth floor at the Philip Sims Senior Housing center at 800 Dickerson on Detroit's east side.

Fleming allegedly made a pass at the woman, and the two struggled over a knife before she was able to get away, get to the ground level, and pull a fire alarm before fleeing, police said. 

The Detroit Fire Department arrived, but there was no fire, so they left.

But Fleming followed the woman, trying unsuccessfully to find her outside. Instead, police said, he pulled out a gun and fired shots at a 50-year-old security guard, who had just called 911. It was Kenneth Hall's first day on the job. 

Kenneth Hall, 50 ,was killed on his first day as a security guard at a senior home in Detroit.

Also slain was Bernice Clark, 66, a resident at the senior center. She died after being shot multiple times.

“This is insanity,” Detroit police Chief James Craig said Wednesday. “This was a random act of violence by someone who was a career criminal, who lived there. He was their neighbor.”

Police accused Fleming of shooting the security guard, who was in the doorway, with a .38-caliber handgun, and then the resident. 

“As many as 10” shots were fired, Craig said.

Fleming must be extraditedto Detroit to face charges. He is a lifetime registrant on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry after an April 1988 conviction for first-degree criminal sexual conduct.