Detroit father of three, husband-to-be found murdered in own car
DETROIT (WJBK) - A father of three kids and newly engaged man was found murdered in the front seat of his own car. But aside from knowing where he was found and his name, police have little to go on.
Willie Gardner, 35, was found in his red Dodge Charger Thursday around 7:30 am but police say he was shot twice in the neck several hours earlier. His car was parked on Watson street near the Brewster Homes in Detroit hours earlier but neighbors told police and his sister that they didn't suspect any foul play.
"People say they seen him since 10:00 out here but they didn't suspect nothing," Sanetta Gardner said.
The 36-year-old sister of the victim is understandably heartbroken over losing her brother.
"He was a good dad, a good brother, a good son, a good boyfriend. He was just a good guy and I don't know why someone would want to hurt him like this," she said. "It hurt. It hurt so bad. It's a pain I know I'm never going to forget."
Police said he was shot twice in his own car. Sources say marijuana was found inside his car. His family says there's an explanation for that: they said he worked at a dispensary and frequently delivered marijuana. Police are trying to determine attempted robbery was the motive.
"To know that don't nobody knows anything - I don't believe it. It's just crazy," Sanetta said.
Gardner's heartbroken fiancée tells Fox 2's Erika Erickson that he had recently proposed and was looking forward to sharing his life with her. He was already calling her his wife. Instead, Gardner's leaving behind three children and two would-be step-children.
"He was one of those fathers dedicated to his kids," his best friend, Michael Roberson, said.
Police are unsure if the shooter had been inside the car with Gardner but his family wonders if it's someone Gardner knew. Both sides are asking anyone with information to step up and say something by calling 1-800-SPEAK-UP.