Grandson, 23, charged in Southfield fatal shooting of his grandmother

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Southfield — Police said Tuesday a 72-year-old woman found shot to death in her Southfield apartment Friday was slain by her grandson, 23, who was living with her.

Desjuan Tyree-Anthony Mack is jailed without bond and charged with open murder and felony firearm, Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barren said Tuesday, in connection with the slaying of Margaret Mack. Her body was found in her Legacy Place apartment Thursday.

Barren said police were dispatched to the apartment in the Nine Mile and Greenfield area at 11:23 p.m. after a 911 call.

Southfield Chief of Police Elvin Barren

"The caller said he found the woman unresponsive and cold to the touch," Barren said. 

The caller was Mack, Barren said, who was waiting in the apartment when police arrrived. Investigators became suspicious when the grandson gave "conflicting stories" about his relationship and status to the victim, at one point saying he was adopted.

The victim had multiple gunshot wounds, and a .40 caliber handgun was found concealed under a couch pillow, Barren said. Police determined the weapon was stolen from a Farmington Hills address in 2018. 

According to relatives who attended a Tuesday press conference, the grandson was living at the apartment "off and on" for years and had recently returned to Southfield from a college in Minnesota.

Relatives said they were baffled why anyone would want to harm the elderly victim, who they said "opened her door" to all her family and cared for other grandchildren from time to time.

"It's unimaginable," said Courtney Mack, who is married to one of Margaret Mack's four sons. "(The grandson) and her got along well. We were all checking in with her from time to time and everything was good."

The daughter-in-law said last Thursday relatives had talked with Margaret Mack on the phone and were told Desjuan Mack was taking a shower and she was getting ready to turn in for the night.

"She loved him dearly," Courtney Mack said. "She loved all her grandchildren and would do anything for them."

Other relatives described her as generous, caring and a "God-fearing" woman. None had heard there were any issues between Mack and his grandmother. 

Dajon Sturges, a cousin, said he believed something happened to Desjuan Mack when he went away to school.

"When he came back, he wasn't the same," Sturges said. "He wouldn't talk to you. He kept to himself. I can't explain it either. It doesn't make sense."

Desjuan Mack's parents live in Metro Detroit, the family said, and his father is currently hospitalized with pneumonia, Sturgess said.

Barren said Mack's only criminal record is a domestic violence charge in Minnesota. He had no details about the incident.

Mack's next court date is April 7 in Southfield District Court.

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