Neighbor dispute ends with fatal shooting in Dearborn Heights

Police say the dispute lasted about 20 years before it escalated Wednesday night.
It's a dispute between two neighbors that Dearborn Heights police say lasted nearly two decades. 

But that dispute on quiet Fairwood Drive ended Wednesday night with a 66-year-old man allegedly shooting to death his 60-year-old neighbor.

"There didn't appear to be anything to escalate to anything like this," said Capt. Michael Petri, Dearborn Heights police. "It's shocking to us as a police department and I'm sure for the community as well."

Police say John Kennedy was out in his backyard doing work at 7 p.m. when his next-door neighbor walked into his backyard and started shooting at him.

"Neighbors reported hearing anywhere from 4 to 7 shots," Petri said.

Dearborn Heights police say they've had calls from the suspect many times over the years, accusing Kennedy of trespassing and of being too noisy. Neighbors say before Wednesday's argument  the man accused Kennedy of putting water on his roof so it would leak into his home.

"We didn't know it would get to that point," said one neighbor. "If we would have known we would have helped more. They have been neighbors for over 20 years so we were not expecting that."

While many other neighbors remain fearful to go on camera, one neighbor told FOX 2, after she heard two shots she called 911. 

Then the neighbor saw the suspect go back into his home, adding that he walked back up to Kennedy, still lying there, appearing still alive. Then said  he shot Kennedy several more times, standing over him.

She said, "For what seemed like forever."

"While they had a few problems back and forth it didn't seem it would be a tragedy such as this."

Police say the shooter was arrested without incident and did not appear to be under the influence. 


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