Slain Grand Blanc teen 'was not lured to Detroit,' police say

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Detroit — Police authorities said Wednesday they do not believe an 18-year-old Grand Blanc teen whose body was found in a Detroit basement early Monday was lured to the city as his mother feared. 

On Saturday, Jacob Hills was with his family before he decided to come to the city, Detroit Police Cmdr. Michael McGinnis said during a Wednesday press update.

Police continue to investigate Hills' death, which was ruled a homicide.

"The information we're working with indicates he willingly came to the city and encountered someone that decided to take his life," Detroit Police Commander Michael McGinnis said about Grand Blanc teen Michael McGinnis, who was found shot to death in Detroit on Monday.

"There has been some discussion about him being lured to the city. Our investigation does not support that information. The information we're working with indicates he willingly came to the city and encountered someone that decided to take his life," McGinnis said. 

Jacob Hills

On Sunday, Hills' vehicle was found and a missing person's report was filed in Dearborn Heights.

On Monday, his body was discovered by police in the basement of a home in the 2200 block of West Warren with gunshot wounds.

Hills' mother, Sadie Hills, told The Detroit News Tuesday that her son recently connected with an acquaintance, a 17-year-old boy from Oxford.

"He made a real bad choice to hang out with somebody he thought was a friend," she said.

Police are interviewing a person of interest in the presence of an attorney and are searching for an associate of Hills' who was with him prior to the event, McGinnis said.

"At this time, there are no suspects for us to release but as we learn more information, we will share that with you," he said.

Prior to the Friday party, Hills bought an AR-15 from ACME Shooting Goods in Oxford in preparation for boot camp with the National Guard, Sadie Hills said. 

The next day Hills spent time with his father before going to a shooting range with the gun, she said. After the shooting range, he picked up the 17-year-old and went into Detroit, Sadie Hills said. 

Hills had the Life360 app on his phone, which his mom said allowed her and his father to track his phone to his unlocked car in the parking lot of the Blue Moon Hookah Lounge in Dearborn Heights on Sunday. After not hearing from their son and finding his abandoned phone and car, they called police. 

Hills' gun was not found with the body or in the car, Sadie Hills said.

"I have a child that's a little bit older than 18, and I can't imagine them possessing such a high-powered firearm," McGinnis said. "The choices that were made, I can't speak to that. It's all part of the investigation."

'We have to put a stop to this'

McGinnis spent the majority of the 15-minute Wednesday update speaking on two other gun violence incidents that occurred Tuesday afternoon and early Wednesday.

A triple shooting occurred in the 300 block of Riverplace early Wednesday and left one dead and two injured. An investigation determined one of the victims acted in self-defense, fatally shooting another, McGinnis said. 

"The two non-fatal victims were together and they were approached by the assailant who was armed, elected to use a long gun to fire shots at the victims for an unprovoked reason," he said. "We interviewed the mom. She's devastated, and we know the deceased suffered from mental illness and we believe that had a significant factor in the circumstances."

Tuesday afternoon, a 13-year-old was fatally shot on Homer. 

One juvenile shot another juvenile over what's alleged to have stemmed from a stolen cellphone. Four suspects, including the assailant, are in police custody. Three are minors and one is 18, McGinnis said.

"Juveniles are in possession of guns. We have to put a stop to this," he said. "We anticipate charges will stem for one or more individuals that we have detained."

Detroit police were on scene of another fatal shooting Wednesday afternoon on Pickford and Evergreen. No further information was available. 

"The rash of violence in our community is extremely concerning, and I know our citizens are concerned. Many Detroit families are devastated. Law enforcement are held to a high standard but also know we can't be everywhere, all the time," McGinnis said.

Too often, McGinnis said, they're seeing juveniles in possession of firearms committing the violent acts.

"We need the community's help. We need the parents' help in making sure they do not have access to firearms," he said, adding the police appreciate the efforts of Ceasefire, a partnership between community members and law enforcement that's focused on deterring gun violence. "But it's not enough."

Twitter: @SarahRahal_

Staff Writer Hannah Mackay contributed.