DPD Chief White calls for 'better decision making' after rash of weekend shootings, including teens leaving birthday party

Detroit Police Chief James White speaking at press conference
Photo credit Detroit Police Department, via Facebook Live video

DETROIT (WWJ) – As Detroit police continue to investigate a number of shootings over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, several of which involved teenagers, Police Chief James White is calling on the community to have “better decision making.”

White said the latest spike in violence across the city is “of very serious concern to us” after at least four people were shot and killed, including two teens.

At a press conference Monday afternoon White provided updates to five cases on he said police had received numerous media and community inquiries on, including a Thanksgiving Day murder at a gas station.

The shooting happened around 12:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving when an employee got into an argument with a customer, then shot them to death in the 19000 block of Van Dyke.

White noted there was some “misinformation going around” that the suspect was at large, but he said detectives quickly identified and arrested the employee, who has been charged with murder, concealed carry and felony firearm.

On Saturday around 10:15 p.m. three teenagers – two 15-year-olds and a 17-year-old – were leaving a “sweet 16” birthday party at Xquisite Events near Joy Road and Evergreen when suspects fired shots from across the street.

White said no suspect has been identified and police are still asking for tips from anyone at the party or in the area who may have any recollection of the incident or may have seen something “unusual.”

Also on Saturday White said an 18-year-old was reported missing in a case that stemmed from an apparent attempt to steal a dog in the 9200 block of Burt Road. The teen was eventually found shot to death.

Early Sunday morning a 29-year-old man was shot to death near a party in the 400 block of Monroe, apparently for refusing to hold the elevator doors for someone, White said.

Later that morning, two 16-year-olds were apparently playing with an unsecured gun while no adults were present at a home in the 16800 block of Mark Twain Street. While authorities are still investigating, White said Monday it appears one teen may have tried to take the gun from the other.

At that point, the gun was discharged, firing a single shot through one teen’s hand and fatally wounding the other. The chief noted police are still “working a number of pieces” in that case and will provide more information when it becomes available.

White called the spate of incidents “troubling” and called on the community to make better decisions.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Detroit Police Department, via Facebook Live video