Body found fatally shot at Detroit’s Palmer Park

Tony Briscoe and Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

Detroit — Police have blanketed the area around Palmer Park after the body of a man was discovered Friday morning in the parking lot of the facility’s splash park.

“At about 7 a.m., we received a run to the swimming pool at Palmer Park about a shooting that had just happened,” said Sgt. Mike Woody from the scene. “We observed a black male John Doe lying face up on the ground with a gunshot wound to the head. Medical personnel declared him dead at the scene.”

The splash park is located on Merrill Plaisance between 6 Mile and 7 Mile west of Woodward. The park hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

The man apparently died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to a Detroit police captain at the scene.

According to Woody, police have fanned out to canvas the area interviewing as many people as they can because of the immediacy of the shooting.

This discovery comes the morning after a kickoff event for Detroit’s inaugural version of the Dream Cruise in Palmer Park, which is to be held Saturday.

The launch of “Cruisin’ the D” calls for more than 1,000 motorcycles and bicyclists to descend on splash park along Merrill Place.

Councilwoman Brenda Jones attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and hundreds of people including motorcyclists were at the parking lot Thursday.

Detroiter Stephan Hill, who organizes bicycle rides in the neighborhood, came out to the event before leading a group of cyclists on a route to Royal Oak and back.

When Hill woke up Friday morning to someone asking if he was OK after hearing about the discovery of a body, he immediately rushed to see if it was one his riders.

“It’s unusual for us to get back after dark, and I was thinking maybe someone was lurking in these woods,” Hill said.

The park’s manicured grass, saplings across the street and community garden box draw a stark contrast from what it once was.

“This park used to be a mess,” Hill said. “You couldn’t even navigate it because there was so much broken glass. When they started putting trees last year, it started to change. They got rid of the pool, put up the playscape and families started to come out again and the riffraff disappeared, which was wonderful.”