Suspected robber stabbed to death by his target, say Detroit police

- Police say a would-be robber was stabbed to death by his intended target on Detroit's east side.

The family of 24-year-old Durand Nelson is desperate for answers. Nelson's body was discovered outside a Detroit Family Dollar on Gratiot near Seven Mile around 8:30 Friday morning.

Nelson was bleeding from his chest while the trail of blood led to Lappin and Gratiot.
"He called his mom about 3:30 to 4:00 (a.m.) and said that somebody had tried to rob him and had shot him," his great-grandmother Geraldine Chatham said.

Although Nelson's family says he told them he had been robbed, Detroit police say they received a call from a McDonalds just after 4 a.m. saying he just stabbed a man trying to rob him.

"He was a good kid, but everyone thinks their kid is good, we don't know what's going on," Chatham said.

Detroit police say they believe the attempted robbery happened just outside the Detroit Blues Cafe. Nelson, collapsed a block away behind the Family Dollar when a neighbor discovered his body and alerted employees.

Police found one shell casing nearby and a gun not far from Nelson's body. They also say at least three different surveillance cameras may have captured the attack.

"What do you think when you lose someone? Your world comes crashing down around you," said Chatham. "We are just heartbroken but we don't know what happened."

"It's just sad that young people can't go out to play, and it’s sad they can't go to school without bodies lying in the streets," said Barbara Collins who prayed with the victim. "It's still senseless. There's still a body laying out there dead."

"Young people don't seem to put any value on life," Chatham said. "It's like it's just another day."

As Detroit police interview that man and continue to investigate Nelson's death this family says all they can do is pray.

"Tomorrow is not promised," said Chatham. "As we have just seen, tomorrow is not promised."

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