2 dead, 1 critically injured in drive-by near Lafayette Park in Detroit

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

A brazen drive-by shooting in the afternoon near downtown Detroit on Thursday killed two people and left one critically injured, police said.

Authorities said they were searching for a black SUV in connection with the deadly shooting near the city's historic Lafayette Park, the latest in a spate of violent incidents in the city.

At about 1:40 p.m., occupants of a burgundy Ford parked near the intersection of Larned and Orleans were shot at multiple times by the occupants of a black SUV,  according to the Detroit Police Department. The scene is about a mile from Campus Martius downtown.

Two of the occupants died, one was in critical condition and another was unharmed. All of the victims were males in their 20s, police said. 

The shooting comes just a week after Detroit police Chief James White denounced rising gun violence in the city and nation following the death this month of an officer in a shooting on the city's westside. 

"Don't call me mad," White said at the time. "I’m focused. This is unacceptable, and this should be the line. Whatever your tipping point is, this should be it."

Officer Loren Courts, 40, died in the July 6 ambush. The suspect, Ehmani Davis, was killed by police after "indiscriminately" firing shots that killed Courts.

Family members gather at the scene of the drive-by shooting to comfort each other on in the Lafayette Park neighborhood of Detroit.

Thursday's slayings came the same day police announced they believe they've found the remains of retired Detroit police Officer Stefon Hodo in a westside city park.

White said detectives believe Hodo was killed and his body dumped in the park after a witness reported seeing the retired cop arguing with a 29-year-old man. Police were still waiting for the Wayne County Medical Examiner to officially identify the body.

Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield, who represents the city's fifth district, called the drive-by shooting "heartbreaking, tragic, and disturbing."

"The persistent issue of gun violence that is permeating our city is robbing families of their loved ones and creating fear within our own community," Sheffield said. "Detroiters deserve to enjoy every inch of this city without fear of violence."

White told media at the scene: “We are seeking a dark colored or black SUV connected to this heinous crime."

Detroit police also tweeted "this is a tragic event and we need the community’s help to find the gunman."

Police were on the scene of a double slaying at East Larned and Orleans.

The department urged anyone who had information about the shooting to contact the department's homicide unit's can be reached at (313) 596-2260.

Staff writer George Hunter contributed