Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Detroit, Pontiac, and Mother’s Day are a Bad Mix: Mom, 19, Man, 28, Shot Dead on Party Bus, on a Black Urban Terrorist’s Whim

Shuntrice Sylvester, 19, is pictured with her son. Sylvester was killed early Sunday when police say a man opened fire on a party bus in Pontiac./Family photograph

By Nicholas Stix

Pontiac differs little from Detroit.

See my running notes in the story.

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Pontiac party bus shooting claims life of young Detroit mom on Mother's Day
By Tammy Stables Battaglia
May 14, 2012, 5:39 p.m.
Detroit Free Press

What was supposed to be a fun night out with girlfriends for a young Detroit mother ended in tragedy in Pontiac early on Mother's Day, leaving her family hoping for an arrest.

Shuntrice Sylvester, 19, was on her way home, sitting on a party bus outside of Porky's nightclub just after 2 a.m. Sunday when she was shot and killed, her father, Markell Smiles, said today.

Also killed was Anthony Ellis, 28, another passenger on the bus.

"I just need some answers and closure," Smiles said, adding that he and Shuntrice's mother will be making funeral arrangements today. "I just want closure for me and my fiancée. That’s all we want."

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said today that investigators are furiously working the case. They do not have any suspects at this point, Bouchard said.

"It’s pretty stunning that someone would commit the kind of act that was perpetrated in this situation," Bouchard said. "You’ve got a person who randomly and intentionally shoots into a crowded bus: extremely unstable and very dangerous. So we want this guy bad."

A 30-year-old Clinton Township man was standing outside the party bus parked at Kennett and Baldwin when a black man about 6 feet tall, weighing 180 pounds, with braided hair, wearing a red shirt and black jeans and carrying a gun demanded cash and the man’s Cartier glasses. When people on the bus started to yell, he shot into the party bus, killing Ellis and Sylvester.

None of the other 17 people on the bus were injured.

Investigators are asking anyone who may have information in the case to come forward.

"Someone out there knows who it is," Bouchard said. "I’d be very surprised if he hasn’t talked or told someone what happened. And if this person doesn't realize this is a very dangerous person, they ought to realize it now."

Sylvester, who attended Detroit Pershing High School, got her GED so she could care for her baby, Shunjuarel, now 1 1/2 years old, said her father. She'd been contemplating taking college courses online, and was focused on making a future for herself and her son, he said. [N.S.: Translation: She had no particular plans. By the way, where’s the child’s father? How come no mention of him?]

"She was trying to continue to stay grounded and provide for herself and her child," her father said.

Sylvester and a couple of girlfriends boarded the party bus at the nightclub Lucky's in downtown Detroit on Saturday, her father said. An acquaintance had rented the bus for a birthday party.

"It’s still hard to process right now — that’s my little girl," her father said. "She was just out enjoying what she thought was going to be an OK party, and just enjoy a happy Mother’s Day out with her friends. It just turned tragic."

[It didn’t “just turn tragic.” This wasn’t an act of God or nature. Someone committed an act of unmitigated evil.]

1 comment:

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