2 charged in shooting of boy, 2, on I-75; prosecutor calls it case of mistaken identity

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Detroit — Two men face murder charges in the Interstate 75 shooting death of 2-year-old Brison Christian, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday.

Brison Christian, 2, was killed on June 17, 2021 in a shooting that occurred on southbound Interstate-75 near 7 Mile in Detroit. Police say his father's black Ram pickup was targeted in a case of mistaken identity by gang members.

Prosecutor Kym Worthy called the fatal shooting a matter of "mistaken identity." 

Darius Lanier, 19, and Eugene Hubbard, 21, face an identical slate of charges: first-degree murder, eight counts of felony firearm, three counts of assault with intent to murder, two counts of discharge from a vehicle and one count of discharge from a vehicle causing injury.

The shooting killed Brison and wounded his 9-year-old brother.

Last week:2-year-old killed, child, 9, injured in shooting on I-75 in Detroit

The shooting took place on a freeway, and the investigation is under Michigan State Police jurisdiction, but the incident inspired interim Detroit Police Chief James White to open discussions with freeway communities on how local departments can keep those roadways safe. 

At about 9:40 p.m. Thursday, on southbound Interstate 75 at McNichols, Brian Christian said he heard gunfire, then noticed his car was malfunctioning, according to the prosecutor's office account of the shooting.

He pulled over and he and his wife realized their sons had been shot, their vehicle hit multiple times.

Brison had been shot in the head; brother BJ was shot in his left arm. Brison died from his injuries. BJ was treated and released. The Christian family is from Dearborn.

On Saturday, Michigan State Police announced "multiple" arrests in the incident.

Worthy alleges the suspects "mistakenly identified the Christians' black truck based on its color and make," believing it was someone else. 

"The Christian family were innocent victims," Worthy's statement said. "A child is dead because adults decided that they were judge, jury and executioner. They will get a fair trial, but Brison doesn’t get to have a life."