Police: Facebook dispute led to toddler’s shooting
Detroit – — Police have arrested two men in connection with a Facebook dispute that prompted a group of girls to drive to a 17-year-old girl’s house and assault her — a fight that escalated into gunfire, ending with the death of 3-year-old Amiracle Williams.
Others who were involved could soon be charged, Detroit Police Sgt. Michael Woody said.
The incident happened at 3:47 p.m. Thursday, when officers from the 5th Precinct were dispatched to the 11000 block of Mogul after someone reported five people had been shot.
“Our preliminary investigation shows this started with a dispute on social media,” Woody said. The argument involved Amiracle’s 17-year-old sister, Woody said, adding that he isn’t sure what the dispute was about.
“After they had words online, people drove to the house on Mogul (on the city’s east side),” Woody said.
“A group of about five or six girls get out of a van and start beating up the 17-year-old girl,” Woody said. “While they were beating her up, the girl’s mom and dad ran outside the house, followed by the 3-year-old. Then, three men got out of the van.”
That’s when the shooting began, Woody said.
“At some point, the father fired his weapon, hitting a 22-year-old man,” Woody said. “The 23-year-old says, ‘Oh no, now all of you are dead,’ and he opens fire on the family.”
Amiracle was killed, while her 40-year-old mother and 47-year-old father and the 17-year-old sister all suffered nonfatal wounds.
“After the shooting, the girls and men all jump in the van and pull away,” Woody said. “The shooter drops off the (22-year-old man who’d been shot by Amiracle’s father) at the hospital and he says he was shot at Denby (High School). We were able to later determine that he’d never been at Denby; he was at the shooting scene.”
Woody said it will be up to prosecutors to determine whether Amiracle’s father will face charges.
“We’re not sure if he returned fire, or shot first,” Woody said. “That still has to be investigated. And prosecutors will have to decide, if he did shoot first, whether it was justified because he felt his daughter’s life was in danger because she was being assaulted by multiple people.”
Maria Miller, spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, said prosecutors are awaiting warrant requests in the case.
Police arrested the 22- and 23-year-old suspects thanks to what Woody called “great police work” and citizen tips.
“They followed lead after lead after lead, and were able to quickly got these guys off the street,” Woody said.
Police also recovered the weapon used to kill Amiracle: a TEC-9 semiautomatic handgun.