Aug 30, 2022 - News

Duggan says ShotSpotter may have prevented mass shooting

Mayor Mike Duggan stands behind the podium in front of a group of city officials including Detroit police chief James White.
Mayor Mike Duggan stands behind the podium in front of a group of city officials, including Detroit police chief James White. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

Investigators continue piecing together Sunday's shooting that left three dead and another hospitalized.

Driving the news: During a news conference yesterday, Detroit police chief James White outlined Sunday's daylong manhunt.

  • Led by DPD with Michigan State Police, the ATF and the FBI, it ended in the arrest of a 19-year-old without incident.
  • The police were able to identify the suspected gunman through an individual close to his family who identified him from an image captured on a private security camera.

What happened: The shootings took place across the west side from about 4:45am to 7:10am, police said. The suspect was arrested at 5:30pm at his family home located in the same area. Police have yet to identify a motive.

  • Police have also not released the names of the victims yet, per department policy. The second victim has still not been identified.

Between the lines: Mayor Mike Duggan used the shooting to further DPD's case for City Council to approve a contract renewal and service expansion of ShotSpotter, the controversial gunshot surveillance technology.

  • "If we had ShotSpotter, there's an excellent chance he was arrested by five in the morning," Duggan told reporters, adding that "defund the police groups" have put out false information about the tool.
  • Duggan said the lack of police response after the first shooting may have emboldened the alleged shooter.

Yes, but: It's unclear whether the proposed renewal and expansion of ShotSpotter would even cover the area near the 12th police precinct where the shooting occurred.

  • When asked yesterday, a DPD spokesperson wasn't sure whether the expansion being proposed to council would cover the area near Livernois Avenue and Wyoming Street.

What they're saying: Some residents feel ShotSpotter expansion is an attempt to surveil their communities, says Joanna Velazquez, the campaign manager at Detroit Action.

  • "Residents we have been talking with are aware that Shotspotter 100% of the time does not prevent gun violence — it's a response to it. They don't see the reliability or necessity of it," Velazquez tells Axios.

What's next: City Council is expected to vote next month on granting DPD's $8 million request to expand the gunshot surveillance company's presence.

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