DETROIT (WJBK) - Two men have been charged with assault with intent to murder in a violent attack on a transgender woman last week.
Detroit residents 21-year-old Charles Brown and 19-year-old Jujuan Williams were arraigned Monday on several charges in 36th District Court in Detroit.
Police say a 36-year-old transgender woman was walking in the 17800 block of Woodward near Worcester around 1:50 a.m. Friday when three men pulled up in a red GMC Yukon.
It is alleged that armed with a semi-automatic rifle, Brown and Williams got out of the car and told the woman to drop everything. Despite following directions and running away, police say Brown fired five shots at her, striking her three times, as Williams took her purse.
Police responded to the scene and after receiving a vehicle description, managed to track the suspects down. The chase ended when the Yukon jumped a curb and officers arrested Williams. Although Brown escaped on foot, he was caught around 11:45 a.m. Saturday.
Brown is facing assault with intent to commit murder, assault with intent to commit great bodily harm, armed robbery resulting in serious injury, armed robbery, fleeing and eluding, use of a firearm in connection with a felony, felon in possession of a firearm, and being a habitual offender - second offense.
Williams was charged with armed robbery resulting in serious injury, armed robbery, use of a firearm in connection with a felony, felon in possession of a firearm, and being a habitual offender - fourth offense.
Officials are working with Fair Michigan to possibly pursue a hate crime charge. Since that is under federal law, Wayne County prosecutors can only charge them with the maximum of state laws.
The woman's family says she's awake at Henry Ford Hospital and lucky to be alive, but say she has two bullets lodged near her spine and has lost feeling in her left side. She is in stable condition.
"On the eve of the national Transgender Day of Remembrance, this case illustrates the horrific acts of violence to which transgender persons are subject," Fair Michigan President Dana Nessel said in a release. "The Fair Michigan Justice Project, in association with the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office and the Detroit Police Department, was established to provide LGBTQ individuals with an effective, focused, and tenacious team dedicated to investigating, prosecuting, and solving crimes against the community. We applaud the Detroit Police officers whose quick response and investigation brought the defendants into custody."