Community leaders call for change after teens arrested for murder of 5-year-old, mom and boyfriend
DETROIT (FOX 2) - As if the murders of a man, woman and 5-year-old boy were not jarring enough, Detroit police say the two suspects they arrested for the crimes are kids themselves.
A 16- and 17-year old are in custody for the murders of young Caleb Harris, his mother Lashon Marshall and her boyfriend Aaron Benson.
"There is high confidence that the individuals we have taken into custody are responsible for this heinous act," said Detroit Police Commander Michael McGinnis.
The disturbing details have left Detroiters unnerved.
"It’s hard to process and it’s heartbreaking because don’t nothing like that supposed to happen," said Horatio Bell.
"You have to have no remorse no heart to shoot a little boy, a five-year-old, in the head," said Tasha Flowers. "That’s about to make me cry, I got a whole 4-year-old that just turned 4. I can’t imagine that. that is really heartbreaking that these kids can’t live their full lives."
The murders of Caleb, Lashon Marshall and Aaron Benson are reminiscent of another jarring trio of murders that spanned Detroit and Warren - one of the victims was also a child, 6-year-old Tai’raz Moore. Suspect Nicholas Bahri will be tried for their murders in April.
"When a 5-year-old is murdered in our community we all got to have an understanding and look at it like that’s our kid too," said Zeek Williams. "Because until we start to look at those situations like that, nothing is going to change."
Violence against children has always struck a nerve with Williams, a longtime community organizer and New Era Detroit.
He says the possibility that two teens murdered a child in cold blood is a sign the community has dropped the ball, and everyone has a role to play to right the ship.
"If you’re an influencer, if you’re an entertainer, a comedian, a rapper, you know or just somebody cool in the community that kids look up to, we got a responsibility to do more in our communities to affect the mindset and mentality of what’s going on," he said.
Don Moore is doing just that with his non-profit Better Men Outreach: They use basketball to reach at-risk teen boys and young men to help them get their lives on track.
"What we’re doing here at BMO is trying to pull them in and show them something different. Trying to show them that you can get the same money by selling drugs by doing something positive," Moore said.
"Actually we all need to step up," Bell said. "When something like this happens everybody do. We gotta put hands together, heads together, and handle it because these young guys growing up listening to the wrong thing and doing the wrong thing. So we do need some OGs and some real men to step up and talk to these kids."
Police say the suspects knew the victims.
Community organizer Zeek Williams of New Era Detroit. (Inset) 5-year-old murder victim Caleb Harris.