Posted on May 31, 2018

Craig Vows Response to Bloody Holiday Weekend

James David Dickson and George Hunter, Detroit News, May 30, 2018

Police Chief James Craig vowed to respond Tuesday after a wave of mostly gun-related violence left nine people dead over the Memorial Day weekend.

Eight people were fatally shot during the holiday weekend, while a ninth person died of blunt-force trauma.


Six of the eight shootings took place on the city’s west side; two of the shootings and the blunt force trauma death happened on the east side. In only one of the nine deaths was a suspect immediately detained.

While there were more killings during the four-day period than most weekends in Detroit, it wasn’t markedly higher than previous Memorial Day periods. {snip}

By comparison, the Chicago Tribune reported that 39 people were shot over the long Memorial Day holiday there — seven fatally.

Although some studies have suggested warmer weather makes people more violent, higher temperatures don’t appear to have had a marked impact on homicides in Detroit last year. {snip}


Homicides are still down year-over-year in Detroit. To this point in 2018, 98 people have been killed in Detroit, compared with 107 in 2017 and 116 in 2016, said Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood, head of the public information office.

Still, the number of killings during the four-day 2018 Memorial Day period represent a huge jump over last weekend, when there were only two homicides from May 18 through May 21, according to online Detroit police crime data.


This weekend’s violence started early Saturday morning, less than an hour after midnight when a 38-year-old woman was killed on the 5400 block of Seneca, which is south of Gratiot and east of Van Dyke.

Saturday at 2:30 p.m., on the 1300 block of Ethel, a black male, believed to be in his mid-20s, was fatally shot in his head in a drive-by.


Saturday, just before 9 p.m. at El Capri Lounge on the 1600 block of East Grand Boulevard, police were called to the scene of a bar owner’s death.

Surveillance video recovered from the bar shows a suspect enter the building, climb over the bar and toward the office, where the victim was found. The entry to the bar triggered its alarm, and the owner responded to that alarm.

By the time police reached the victim, he was dead. Authorities identified him as 60-year-old Michael Webb.

About 12:30 a.m. Sunday, a 38-year-old man was gunned down at a block party on the 2000 block of Dearing, which is south of East Davison and east of Dequindre.


Five more people were killed in separate shootings Monday.

At midnight, on the 9900 block of Freeland — south of Plymouth, west of Schaefer — a black male believed to be about 20 years old was found in the middle of the street, dead from multiple gunshot wounds.

At 8 a.m. on Memorial Day, an 18-year-old black male was shot in the head on the 15700 block of Mansfield, which is north of Fenkell and west of Greenfield.


About 90 minutes later, on the 9600 block of the Southfield Freeway Service Drive just south of Interstate 96, a 30-year-old man was found with a gunshot wound to the chest. Medics arrived, but the man died at the scene.

Monday at 4:10 p.m., in the area of Greenfield and Schoolcraft, a 30-year-old black male was driving a passenger in a Chevy SUV. The two then got into an altercation with someone inside an unknown vehicle who fired multiple shots, hitting the driver multiple times.


The witness has refused to cooperate.

The last fatal shooting of the three-day weekend happened about 10 minutes before midnight, on the 15700 block of Carlisle, which is south of East Eight Mile and east of Gratiot on the city’s east side.


Police believe that the suspect, described only as a black male wearing dark-colored clothes, a red hat, and carrying an assault rifle, shot through the home’s front door, fatally striking the victim, who was declared dead at the scene.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig