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Reward offered for tips after elderly Pontiac woman shot in face

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Pontiac — A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the suspect who shot an 80-year-old woman in the face Sunday as she was sitting in her car.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard on Monday urged Pontiac residents to help stem a recent spate of shootings in the city following the Sunday incident. The woman, who was shot between the eyes, remains hospitalized in critical condition, Bouchard noted.

“These back-and-forth drive-by type shootings must stop,” Bouchard said. “The only way we will stop them is with community involvement that identifies the individuals who are involved. The innocent victims in these neighborhoods deserve that support and justice.”

Sunday’s shooting occurred shortly after 5 p.m. in the 100 block of South Marshall near Whittemore. When deputies arrived, they found the victim in the driver's seat of a white Ford Fusion. She was rushed to an area hospital in their patrol car, authorities said. 

The woman, identified by her son as Charlean Jones, told deputies she was in her car for about 30 minutes and had been visiting someone at a home on Marshall. Later, authorities learned that the victim’s car needed to be jumpstarted and the shooting happened shortly after.

"She has bullet fragments still in her head and a nerve to her eye socket has been severed and she will likely never see out of it again," her son, Derek Washington, told The Detroit News. "She was with a friend when they had car trouble and somebody was giving them a jump start."

Washington said his mother is a long-time volunteer at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac and well-known in the community for offering help to others.

Two male passengers in the car were not injured. One passenger said he saw a man shooting. A suspect description was not immediately available. 

The suspect vehicle was described by a witness as a black Jeep Cherokee, possibly with a silver top. Someone, authorities said, was leaning out a rear window firing a semi-automatic rifle.

Deputies found multiple 9 mm shell casings in the road. 

Detectives are reviewing residential cameras for possible leads on the shooter. 

"It's important to get this information out and beat the bushes in hopes of finding him," Washington said.

The Oakland County Sheriff's Department noted there have been several shootouts or drive-by shootings in Pontiac this year, including an Oct. 11 incident at the Newman Court apartment complex on Kettering near University in which a 19-year-old man was wounded.

Gunplay erupted last month in the parking of an Elams Brothers restaurant on S. Sanford where one person was wounded in the foot. 

In July, a 29-year-old Waterford Township man and a 34-year-old Pontiac man were wounded by gunfire at about 3 a.m. in the parking lot of a coney island restaurant on North Perry Street. 

Anyone with information in connection with the Sunday shooting should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com

(248) 338-0319