Lyoya family suing Grand Rapids, former police officer in shooting death

Crime spree murder suspect Kenyel Brown dies

The Detroit News

Kenyel Brown, a confidential informant suspected of killing six people during a crime spree, died Friday, according to Detroit police.

Brown, 40, had been hospitalized in critical condition since shooting himself in the head Monday in the backyard of an Oak Park home as police closed in on him.

Kenyel Brown

Brown was an informant for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to Detroit police Chief James Craig. Despite multiple violations while on federal probation for a 2014 gun arrest, Brown was allowed to remain free at the request of an unnamed federal law enforcement agency, a federal court spokesman told The Detroit News this week.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said Thursday he has found no evidence of that.

"It has been reported that the federal court released Kenyel Brown from custody at the behest, demand, or request of a federal law enforcement agency," he said in a statement. "So far, I have seen no evidence of that.

A federal judge was told about Brown’s “dangerousness” at an Oct. 29 hearing and acknowledged “he’s had a hard time following the law and the rules,” but decided not to send him back to prison.

About three months after U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman gave Brown "a break" for violating his probation, the informant allegedly committed fatal shootings in Detroit, Highland Park and River Rouge. 

During a press conference Wednesday, Craig said Brown was signed up as a confidential informant for a Detroit police/U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration task force.

According to Craig, Brown was paid $150 after he told police he had information about drug activity involving a southwest Detroit gang. "His information didn't pan out," said Craig, adding that was the only time Brown was used by the task force as an informant.

In March, Brown told a federal magistrate judge that he worked for a cleaning company and a temporary employment firm, earning $9.25 an hour.

Police say Brown's recent crime spree started Jan. 8 when he fatally shot a man in River Rouge. On Feb. 2, police say Brown committed a triple shooting — a double homicide and a reported non-fatal shooting. 

In that incident, the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office identified the deceased as Dorian Patterson, 48, and Kimberly Green, 52. Both died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged Brown on Feb. 4 with two counts of first-degree murder as well as assault with intent to murder in connection with the alleged Feb. 2 incident.

On Feb. 18, police say Brown fatally shot a man in Highland Park.

Three days later, Brown allegedly fatally shot a 41-year-old man on Detroit's east side and carjacked two vehicles within 19 minutes of each other. The next day, police say Brown fatally shot a 36-year-old man during an argument about drugs.