Ex-boyfriend charged in fatal shooting of 19-year-old in Canton: 'That’s not love'

After leaving her relationship, 19-year-old Veronica Crain was fatally shot – allegedly by her ex-boyfriend Joseph Michael Slocum Jr.

"That was the (most cowardly) sh** he could do! That’s not love," said Kimberly Crain, mustering the strength to talk about the loss of her dearly loved daughter.

Police say Veronica, of Detroit, was shot in the head as she worked the front desk of the Comfort Suites hotel on Haggerty Road in Canton Township on Feb. 16, around 9:20 p.m.

"She smiled at everything. She always brightened somebody else’s day," Kimberly recalled. "Like at the hotel – she brightened everybody’s day."

Slocum, a 23-year-old from Wayne, is accused of entering the hotel and firing a handgun, fatally shooting Veronica before fleeing the scene, according to a Wayne County Prosecutor's Office news release. 

Less than 30 minutes after the shooting, officers were dispatched to I-275 and Ford Road for a reported car accident. Upon their arrival, Slocum was seen "lying in the road suffering from multiple injuries," the release stated. He was transported to a hospital for treatment.

On Monday, Feb. 26, Slocum was charged with first-degree murder and felony firearm, according to the prosecutor's office. He was arraigned in the hospital, where he remains in custody until he can be detained in jail.

"I had to view her. People told me I didn’t want to go in there," Kimberly said. "Now she’s 19 and never will be able to see nothing. She was going to to go back to school, she wanted to go places in her life. He took everything from her honestly, everything."

19-year-old Veronica Crain was fatally shot in the head on Feb. 16, 2024; police suspect her ex-boyfriend, 23-year-old Joseph Michael Slocum Jr. (Provided by Kimberly Crain)

Veronica tried to get away from the relationship several times over the last few years, according to family and friends. The two finally broke up about a month before the shooting.

"The most dangerous time for a domestic violence victim is when they are trying to leave the relationship," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said. "Horrifyingly, this case is a textbook example. We will vigorously seek justice for Veronica and her family."

19-year-old Veronica Crain was fatally shot in the head on Feb. 16, 2024; police suspect her ex-boyfriend, 23-year-old Joseph Michael Slocum Jr. (Provided by Kimberly Crain)

"She thought it was love and I don’t know the answer but my baby is gone and didn’t deserve it," Kimberly took to Facebook on Feb. 18, two days after Veronica's murder. "My first born, my first love, my best friend, and she is my guardian angel although I want her back so bad."

The mother created a GoFundMe to help with the expenses of Veronica's funeral, which is set for Sunday, March 3.

"I keep wondering and wondering and wondering (why), and looking at the sky for answers because she used to stare at the sky when her uncle passed," Kimberly said. "I’m hoping she reaches out to me."

Kimberly wishes this would not happen to anyone else trying to leave an abusive relationship.

"I just hope to get justice… I know god’s got my baby. I know she’s up there with my dad. I know she’s up there with her uncle," Kimberly said.

If you or a loved one are suffering from a situation involving domestic violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-7233.

The Michigan Hotline: 866-VOICEDV. Online: TheHotline.org