2 killed, 19 wounded in shooting on Detroit's east side (2024)

Detroit — A shooting at an early Sunday party on Detroit's east side left two people dead and 19 people wounded, according to the Michigan State Police, making it one of the city's worst mass shootings and prompting the Detroit Police Department to say it plans to create a "comprehensive new strategy regarding block parties."

The incident happened at about 2:30 a.m. on Rossini near Gratiot in Detroit's Red Zone, two police sources told The Detroit News. The Red Zone neighborhood for years has been one of the city's deadliest.

Michigan State Police, which is assisting the Detroit Police Department on the investigation, said in a late Sunday morning tweet that no one had been taken into custody in relation to the incident. When the Detroit Police Department issued a Sunday afternoon statement, the department confirmed two people had died but didn't specify how many suspects there were, the identities of who had been killed or the conditions of the wounded.

"Investigators and forensic personnel are analyzing all available evidence," the Detroit Police Department said, adding that Mayor Mike Duggan and police Chief James White would be holding a Monday briefing to "provide full details" about the updated block party strategy.

The shooting happened at a block party where hundreds had gathered, said Michael Pope, 21, who was at the party. He said he heard gunshots at about 2:30 a.m.

2 killed, 19 wounded in shooting on Detroit's east side (1)

"Once I heard shooting, I just took off running," Pope said Sunday. "Everybody took cover, stampeding over people. … As I'm running, it's people literally trying to jump over my back to get past me, to get over me because it was so many people running outside in the same direction, backyards, everywhere."

The victims were taken to Detroit area hospitals, sources said.

Last summer, White said the police department was cracking down on illegal block parties and reminded residents that they have to apply to the city and get block parties approved by the police department and city officials. The police department posted a public service announcement about the block party application process on Facebook.

Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield said in a statement the average age of the 21 people who were shot was 19. She called the shooting an "unspeakable tragedy" and "yet another reminder that gun violence is an epidemic in Detroit and across this Nation."

"We must chart a new course of action, and I'm calling for an all-hands-on-deck approach to ending the senseless killings and destruction of families in our community," said Sheffield, who last year indicated she is considering a run for mayor in 2025.

Duggan hasn't said whether he is running for reelection.

Sunday's shooting came after the weekend of June 15-16, when 20 people were shot in three mass shootings: Nine people were wounded at a Rochester Hills splash pad, six were shot at a Lathrup Village party, and five shot were at a Detroit party.

From June-August 2022, Detroit was the site of at least five mass shootings, defined by the nonprofit research group the Gun Violence Archive as incidents in which at least four people are shot, not including the shooter.

On Nov. 6, 2013, nine people were shot, three fatally, after someone opened fire on Al’s Place Barber Shop on Detroit’s east side, which police said was a known gambling spot.

Witness sees two victims

A large contingent of police officers was at Rossini Drive on Sunday morning, with some bagging shoes left by people who ran from the scene.

Police cars and yellow tape on Rossini at Reno Street blocked people from entering the street, but about a dozen locals stood nearby on Wish Egan Field watching officers investigate.

2 killed, 19 wounded in shooting on Detroit's east side (2)

One of them was Pope, who said that in the aftermath of the shooting, he saw a man suffering from a gunshot wound to his chest and a woman suffering from a gunshot wound to her kneecap.

"It wasn't a lot of blood coming from her knee, little small drizzles, but it was still a gunshot wound, and she was panicking off looking at the gunshot wound," Pope said. "Crazy world. Crazy city."

Pope said he was invited to the party by a childhood friend and wasn't aware of any trouble before the shooting.

"It was a lot of people who went to school with each other," he said. "... It wasn't no arguing, no fighting."

2 killed, 19 wounded in shooting on Detroit's east side (3)

The city of Detroit and the Detroit Police Department require applications for block parties 30 days in advance, according to the department’s social media accounts. The applications, which are supposed to be turned in by the head of the local block club to a local precinct, require approval from 75% of the block involved.

Empress Arelia of Detroit was recording the scene Sunday morning. She said she jogs often at Wish Egan Field and wasn't expecting to see police investigating a shooting in the area.

"I come over here and utilize this park for my working out," Arelia said. "I grew up on the east side. That's why I don't attend block parties."

Other party shootings

Sunday's shooting was the latest connected to a party.

On June 1, four people were shot at a block party that was attended by more than 100 people. The incident happened at about 1:15 a.m. in a house in the 16500 block of Trinity Street near West Grand River Avenue and West McNichols Road.

2 killed, 19 wounded in shooting on Detroit's east side (4)

On May 22, at another Detroit party at Manning and Gratiot, 17-year-old Taylor Gladney was killed. The incident was four blocks south of where Sunday’s mass shooting happened.

Last year, three females were wounded at a July 4 party at Holmur and Chalfonte on Detroit’s west side.

“The problem is the normalcy of these shootings," Detroit Police Commissioner Ricardo Moore said. "Come Jan. 1, the police will say crime is down and then we’ll start all over again. Funeral homes, hospitals and florists are the only people who profit from Detroit crime.”

"We cannot normalize this," U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, tweeted Sunday afternoon. "Another senseless shooting today, leaving families in our community, shattered. We owe it to our families to address this crisis with urgency. We need to save lives now."

State Rep. Mai Xiong, D-Warren, who represents the district in which the incident took place, said she was deeply saddened and heartbroken.

“My heart goes out to the victims, their families, and everyone affected by this senseless act of violence," Xiong said. "During what should have been a joyous celebration during Independence Day weekend, we are instead faced with a devastating reminder that gun violence is hitting too close to home, right in our own backyards.

“As a community, we should be coming together to enjoy each other’s company and celebrate the liberties we cherish, not living in fear of such tragedies. This incident underscores the urgent need to address gun violence and work towards creating a safer environment for all," she said.

Michigan State Police is asking anyone with information about the shooting to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.



Staff Writer Hayley Harding contributed.

2 killed, 19 wounded in shooting on Detroit's east side (2024)


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