Seven killed in violent Labor Day weekend in Detroit

At least seven people were killed in Detroit over the Labor Day weekend.Police say they redeployed manpower Saturday as soon as they saw this spike in violent crime.

But by 11:59 Sunday night, the number of homicides in Detroit was up 5 percent compared to the same time last year. 

DOCUMENT: See below for DPD crime stats.

It started with paint and ended with a shooting when a 45 year old man was wounded in the leg during a dispute between a landlord and tenant on Detroit's east side.

It's just one of several violent outbursts in what turned out to be a deadly Labor Day weekend - seven homicides in 72 hours.

Among them, a 26-year-old Demario Thompkins gunned down Saturday night after an argument with another driver. His girlfriend and 1-year-old son were in the car when it happened.

"Demario Thompkins did not deserve to die," said Terferi Brent, a pastor at Fellowship Chapel. "That brother deserves to be here. His 1-year old (and) girlfriend, soon-to-be-fiancé, needed him to be here."

In a Facebook post he called the shooting senseless, the suspects "punk cowards" and questioned how a man could lose his life over an argument.

"It enraged me, the right way mind you," Brent said. "We're going to organize something in the coming week to make it known and make it clear, that individuals, who have done that, need to boss up, man up and turn yourself in."

Police are also looking for the driver of black Cadillac who shot and killed a 45-year-old man who tried to drive around him.

The violence continued Monday at The Crazy Horse strip club in southwest Detroit where local rapper Dex Osama was gunned down after an argument. Better days were ahead for Osama, who had just signed a record deal with Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill.

"What we’ve learned statistically is most murders happen between people who know each other," said Dr. Gerald Shiener. "But the things we're seeing now, is two strangers encounter each other, someone feels they've been disrespected and pulls out a weapon, and it's over."

Shiener is chief of psychiatry at Sinai Grace Hospital.

"People seem to be angry," he said. "Maybe it has something to do with the lack of opportunity, with the fact our economy is improving, but it's still sputtering along and people down on the ground that need it the most, aren't benefitting from the economic gains."

"We've been unemployed for a long time," Brent said. "We've been impoverished for a long time. We've been fighting racism for a long time and we haven't always dealt with conflict in this manner."

Detroit police say even though the number of homicides is up 5 percent, overall violent crime is down.

Many if not all of the suspects in this weekend's violence are still on the run, but investigators are working to get them off the street.

Police say they've made a number of other gun-related arrests and took 14 guns off the street this weekend - saying every bullet in those magazines represent a life they saved.


DPD Weekly Stats 09-06-15