Man wanted in shooting of 2-year-old in custody, girl still alive
OAK PARK, Mich. (WJBK) - Detroit Police say the man wanted in connection with the shooting of a 2-year-old girl Wednesday evening is in custody. Cleveland Smelley was found at a hotel in Oak Park and has been taken into custody.
Two-year-old McKenzie Oldham was sitting in the car with her father outside of a house in the 16,400 block of Fairmount Drive when her dad and another man got into a fight just after 8 p.m. The other man walked away and came back with a gun and started shooting.
Detroit Police Assistant Chief Steve Dolunt said in a 1 p.m. news conference that they had spoken to the girl's father, who says McKenzie Oldham is still alive and in critical condition. Detroit Police called FOX 2 early Thursday morning and reported the little girl had died.
"We talked to the father who said, no she didn't pass away but it's my understanding she is in grave condition so our prayers are with her," Assistant Police Chief Steve Dolunt said.
McKenzie was struck in the head. Her father was not struck. McKenzie was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
It's become a common and disturbing sight in the D: bikes and other toys on the wrong side of crime scene tape.
"Detroit is not coming back when a 3 year old is Murdered," community activist Hassan Williams said. "Why aren't we outraged? There should be 10,000 behind me. Where is the outrage?"
The ongoing violence that ends with children in the hospital or the morgue is taking its toll on Detroit's finest, including Assistant Police Chief Steve Dolunt.
"I kind of got choked up. This one hurt a lot. The little isn't even three yet," Dolunt said.
The Assistant Chief choked up when the manhunt for the man who shot the young girl ended.
Police in Detroit and Oak Park were tipped off to Cleveland Smelley's location at an Oak Park motel, just off Eight Mile and Hubbell. He was alone in the room when police found him.
"He's born and raised in Oak Park and we dealt with him before. We knew once Detroit put it out that he was the person and we received a tip and came here and got a tip and contacted special ops and we took him in custody together," Oak Park Lt. Marlon Benson said.
Detroit police also say they have two other people in custody, who are believed to have been involved in the fight leading up to the shooting. Their names have not yet been released.
Dolunt also said in the news conference that police believe the argument started after a drink was spilled.
"Stupid stuff. I believe it was over spilled Kool-aid or something," Dolunt said. "Now I got a two year old clinging to life a clown in custody who thought he was doings the right thing and I got a neighborhood up in arms."
McKenzie's dad and two other children in the car at the same time were not injured in the shooting.