Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Detroit: Washington’s Birthday AK-47 Gang Shooting Claims Life of 9-Month-Old Delric Miller IV; Neighbors are Experts at Identifying Weapons by Sound

of Gunfire; Chief Godbee: “Street Code”=No Help in Solving Crime; Grandmother: “They raisin’ monsters out here!”
By Nicholas Stix
Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 1:05 a.m.
Expanded at 1:30 a.m., on Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Last supplemented at 1:46 a.m., on Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Murder victim Delric Miller IV


He was a baby. He didn’t ask to be here. And he damn sure didn’t ask to be took like that! That’s bald! They raisin’ monsters out here.

Delric’s grandmother, Cynthia Wilkins


An AK-47: Detroiters say, “Don’t leave home without it”



Delric’s mother, Diamond Salter, speaking to reporters

Fatal Detroit shooting of baby gang-related, police say
Shooting leaves baby dead: Family members and Detroit police condemn the attack on a West side home
By Laura Phelps, George Hunter and Steve Pardo
The Detroit News
February 20, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Detroit — Diamond Salter said she was asleep in her west-side home early Monday morning when shots rang out. As her son, Delric Miller IV, dozed nearby on a living room couch, bullets pierced windows and walls, striking the 9-month-old.

"I grabbed my baby and wrapped him up in a blanket … and ran in the basement," said Salter, 19, who also has a one-year-old daughter who was staying with a relative. "I thought he was asleep because that's how I left him. I thought he was alive … I started feeling for him, and he wouldn't wake up."

Someone fired 37 rounds from an AK-47 assault rifle at about 4:30 a.m. into the home in the 8400 block of Greenview Avenue, near Tireman. Police Chief Ralph Godbee said the shooting was gang-related.

Godbee said police have details about the shooting he didn't want to release to the public, but that investigators have a handle on what happened.

"We know who they are," Godbee said. "This was not a random incident."

Salter said there were eight people in the house, including three children, when the shooting took place. She called the incident "senseless" and said she doesn't know why someone opened fire on their home. [She's lying. She knows full well that gang members live in the home, at least one of whom was the intended victim. "Senseless" is a fig-leaf for the particulars of a murder.]

Salter added that she's no stranger to violence; she was inside her home at a different location years ago when a similar crime occurred: Someone started shooting at the house, and her sister, who was also inside, was killed. [That makes two gang killings that have taken members of her family, making her an expert on the sense behind "senseless" killings.]

"I got to be strong, because I still have a daughter to live for," Salter said.

The boy's maternal grandmother, Cynthia Wilkins, 39, added: "They killed a precious baby."

Delric was rushed to Sinai-Grace Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival following the shooting.

Police believe that shots could have been fired from a van after a witness reported that a light-colored van sped away from the scene.

"It's an act of God that more people weren't killed," Godbee said.

[This passage was in the original version of the this story, but has since been deleted: "I believe that we as a community have to come together to stop this senseless violence," Detroit police Sgt. Eren Stephens said. "It's going to take everyone in this community to say enough is enough."]

A pink and purple motorized cart sits in front of the home and shattered glass glittered on the front porch Monday morning.

Neighbors said there were usually 10 to 15 people living in the home over the past year, including three to four children.

The boy's father, Delric Miller III, was not at the home when the shooting began. He arrived early Monday afternoon and stayed for approximately 20 minutes. He said his son loved to play with his toy hammer.

The last gift Miller gave his son was a multicolored teething ring for Christmas, he said.

When Miller left the home Monday afternoon he said, "I need some time for myself."

Neighbor Diane Fryst, 67, was coming out of the bathroom when she heard the shots.

Fryst said she was worried about ricochets, so she immediately laid down on top of her two rescue collie dogs to shield them from harm. [N.S.: She loves her dogs so much, she’d die for them!]

"The shooting didn't last more than a few minutes," said Fryst, who has lived in her home (formerly owned by her parents) for 66 years. [It may have seemed like minutes, but probably lasted under 10 seconds. Shot in bursts, an AK-47 burns through 400 rounds per minute. Had the attack lasted “a few minutes,” the weapon would have burned through over 1,000 rounds.]

"It sounded like an AK-47 because of the 'pop, pop, pop' sound that it made. I've heard shots around here before so you get to recognize the sound."

According to Fryst almost a dozen people, including four to five children, lived in the home where the shooting occurred.

"I've never seen any trouble over there before, no violence," Fryst said.

This is the second killing of a youngster in Detroit within the last three weeks.

Twelve-year-old Kadejah Davis was shot to death on Jan. 31 when a gunman fired through the front door of the home in which she was living with her mother.

Police arrested Joshua Brown, 19, and his mother, Heather Brown, in the incident.

According to police, Joshua Brown came to the home of Kadejah's mother, Amanda Talton, on Ferguson Street and demanded the return of a cellphone Talton had found earlier at her tax preparer's office.

Police said he fired shots through the door after Talton told him she didn't have the phone and closed the door.

Brown has been charged with first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder and felony firearm. His mother, Heather, has been charged with accessory after the fact.

Godbee has recently unveiled initiatives aimed at stemming the violence. Earlier this month, he moved his department to a "virtual precincts" model, in which officers who manned the city's police precincts were reassigned to patrol.

Last week, Godbee rolled out an 18-month trial run of the "broken window" model of community policing, in which officers will focus on non-violent offenses like broken taillights or loitering, in hopes of stopping more serious crimes before they happen.

Anyone with information about Monday's shooting is asked to call the Detroit police's homicide section at (313) 596-2260.

(313) 222-2023

[Thanks to reader-researcher RC, who asks,

How would some old lady know the sound of an AK-47 firing?

Is it because the sound is ubiquitous in the 'hood?

And how can you even begin to lampoon the sergeant (Eren Stephens)?

From WEJB/NSU’s Detroit File:

“Detroit’s Gangster Mayor Reportedly to Accept Plea Today: Kilpatrick Era Over … for Now”;

“White Detroit News Columnist (Almost) Tells the Truth about Former Motor City’s Decline!”

“Justice, Detroit-Style: Is Black Judge Vanessa Bradley a Racist? Do Cows Fart?”;

“Detroit: No-Name Clearances of No-Name Murders”;

“Detroit’s Convicted “Hip-Hop Mayor,” Kwame Kilpatrick, is Livin’ Large While Pleading Poverty”;

“(Kwame) Kilpatrick Enterprise” in Detroit: Most Corrupt Municipal Administration Anyone Had Ever Seen”;

“Carlita Kilpatrick, Wife of Convicted Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Fights Paying One Dime of the $1 Million Restitution He Agreed to, as Part of His Plea-Bargain”;

“Feds Declare War on Detroit’s Gangster Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, Charge Him with Everything but the Murder of Tamara Greene”;

“Detroit: New Crime Stats Fail Smell Test; How Could Crime Go Down 7% Overall Last Quarter, While Homicides Went Up 31%?”;

“Are White Gangs Making It Impossible to Drive City Buses in Detroit? Inquiring Minds Want to Know”;

“Detroit: Buses are So Dangerous and Unreliable That Disabled Mom of 6 Traded Her House for a Minivan”;

“Detroit: Three Men in Their 20s Allegedly Kidnapped and Gang-Raped Girl, 13, for at Least Three Days”;

“Mysterious, Anonymous Detroit News Story About Arrest of Triple Shooting Suspect, Nasir Banks”;

“Happy New Year, Detroit-Style: Club Manager was Killed, Trying to Break Up a Fight; FREEP Writer Knows Facts, but Refuses to Report Them”;

“Detroit: Serial Killer is Murdering Prostitutes Who Advertised Online in Pairs, and Stuffing Them in Car Trunks”;

“Blackberry: Detroit’s Murder Bar—Demesha Hunt, Renisha Landers, and Now, Claudia Benson Last Seen Alive There”;

“Detroit: Family of Murder Defendant Jacob Wells, Threatens to Murder Family of Murder Victim, Claudia Benson—on Camera!”;

“Detroit: Murder Up 12%, but ‘Serious’ Crime is Down; Broken Windows Policing is on the Way”;

The Onion: Detroit Has One of America’s Top 10 Downtowns”;

“In Detroit, to Find the Biggest Crooks, Look to the Highest Offices: Judge Carlos Powell Charged with Being City’s Drug Kingpin”; and

“Detroit’s Ex-(and Future?) Felon Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, is Living Large in Texas, with No Visible Income (but with a Secret Loan), Has Committed Tax Evasion, is Not Paying Back His Court-Ordered Restitution, and is being Represented on the (White) Taxpayer’s Dime (and Trying to Forget Tamara Greene!)”]

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