Follow-Up: Cops Hold Noel Night Gunfire Suspect, 16; Chief Craig Floats Curfew Idea
December 4th, 2017, 3:49 PM
Detroit Police detained a 16-year-old boy suspected of shootings Saturday night that wounded four other teens and forced an early end to the 45th annual Noel Night festivities in Midtown's Cultural Center.
A Detroit News team of three reporters has that development. It adds that the victims, all recovering, are a 14-year-old boy, a 16-year-old boy, a 17-year-old girl and a 19-year-old man who was grazed.
The gunfire erupted around 7:40 p.m. amid an argument over a high school championship football game at Ford Field the previous weekends, Police Chief James Craig says at a media briefing Monday afternoon, writes Allie Gross of the Detroit Free Press, adding:
"Two groups met up. There was some pushing and shoving and then some gunfire," Craig said.
The suspect will be identified when arraigned in 36th District Court on charges authorized by the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office. The office is waiting five days to act, as allowed under law, Assistant Prosecutor Maria Miller says in a media release.
The police chief suggests that city council members consider a Noel Night curfew for minors, similar to one in effect during the riverfront Fourth of July Fireworks. "It’s time to start that conversation. Had there been a curfew, would this have happened? Probably not," a second article at The News quotes him as saying.
James David Dickson of the paper also quotes a Detroiter who was nearby when shots changed the weekend event's mood:
Melissa Weckler, 40, was at Noel Night with her boyfriend and another couple . . on John R. at East Warren, outside of the Michigan Science Center. Groups of teenagers appeared in the area.
"It was rowdy," Weckler said. "It got a little bit uncomfortable."
Then, in a dark section of John R, a fight broke out, and a circle formed around the combatants, she said. Soon that circle broke and started running toward the two couples.
"Oh my gosh," Weckler said she thought at the time. "Here we go." Then, Weckler said, "it just started lighting up." Weckler says she had a view of the shooter's back. . . .
Weckler and her boyfriend ran from the danger. The other couple hid behind a vehicle. The two groups were able to find each other about five minutes later.
"I live in the city. I love my city," Weckler said. "And I know her weaknesses. This showed we have great strides to make," she said.
Earlier update, Sunday morning:
The Detroit News on Sunday updates Cultural Center violence reports that originally mentioned only two victims and then three:
A fourth victim shot during Noel Night festivities in Midtown became known to police on Sunday and has told investigators he saw a suspect fire a weapon.
Detroit Police said the 19-year-old man took himself to a hospital with graze wounds to his hand and lower leg, said Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood, a police spokeswoman.
Kirkwood said the fourth victim has reported seeing the suspect fire his weapon into the ground near John R and Farnsworth.
Original article, Saturday night:
Shots were fired around 7:40 p.m. Saturday night near the Detroit Institute of Arts during Noel Night, an annual event launching the holiday season, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Two victims are hospitalized with leg wounds, Detroit Police Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood says.
The ages and gender of those hurt weren't immediately known, and there was no word about any arrests as dozens of officers from Detroit, Wayne State and the Michigan State Police officers swarmed the scene and directed hundreds attendees to leave.
Street violence in a crowded, generally safe area on a festive night is a setback for the city's image. Noel Night -- a five-hour event that attracts families, suburbanites and Detroiters of varied ages -- hasn't been marred by serious violence before.
"Shootings during Noel Night? C'mon Detroit," tweets poet Chace "Mic Write" Morris.
Last summer, two shootings had injured three people July 6 during the Detroit fireworks show.
On scene: Detroit Police now actively flushing people out of area. Another EMS unit has arrived. pic.twitter.com/95JfqgkobM— Daily Detroit (@TheDailyDetroit) December 3, 2017
On Twitter, witnesses describe a confusing, chaotic scene as people ran after hearing gunfire and then seeing police cars race up Woodward Avenue.
All of the events, including Noel Night has been shut down...all business and events...CLOSED.— Motor City 911 (@DetroitScanner) December 3, 2017
DPD focusing on removing everyone from area.
At #noelnight is #Detroit. Great time, and then all of a sudden theres a screaming mob running away from the Detroit Science Center. Within a minute? theres like 30 cop cars lights and sirens on full blast, surrounding the building and filling the streets. #WTF happened?ðÂÂÂÂÂŸÂÂÂÂÂ˜³#scary— Rebekah Albosta (@bekah_jan) December 3, 2017
I was on Warren by John R just as things went down. Saw some folks running and sirens and suddenly felt like the whole police force descended— Kurt Mensching (@BYBKurt) December 3, 2017
Police occasionally and seemingly randomly blocking passage through various streets, offering no explanations. Also, definitely not enough security people to handle any sort of real emergency.— Anne Elizabeth Moore (@superanne) December 3, 2017
Police sending everyone home but not directing traffic. It’s a nightmare.— Amanda Ninja Face (@girlwithafacee) December 3, 2017