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MSP identifies woman killed in apparent Juneteenth shootout with Flint officer

Neal Rubin
The Detroit News

Flint — Michigan State Police has identified the woman who died Saturday after allegedly opening fire on a city police officer near a Juneteenth commemoration.

Lt. Kimberly Vetter of the MSP said Briana Sykes, 19, of Flint shot at the officer from her car as he was directing traffic near the Juneteenth Celebration Parade.

The officer returned fire, Vetter said. Sykes was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Video shot by a spectator "appears to show part of the incident," Vetter confirmed. It shows a silver two-door sedan, windshield wipers engaged, slowly rolling away after an exchange of gunfire. 

The police officer appears distraught as he collapses onto the wet sidewalk afterward, and is attended to by other law enforcement officers. He has been placed on paid leave.

There were no injuries to police or bystanders, Vetter said. The parade, featuring two-time Olympic gold medal boxer Claressa Shields of Flint as grand marshal, was rerouted away from the scene.

The shooting occurred around 2:14 p.m., according to MSP, and Sykes was the only occupant of the silver car. She died at a hospital.

Flint police asked MSP to handle the investigation, Vetter said, and "detectives continue to gather more information."

"At this point," she said, "we cannot comment on a motive."


Twitter: @nealrubin_dn