DETROIT — Police are investigating the death of a father Wednesday who was executed in front of his son’s school.
The shooting happened at about 7:50 a.m. ET outside Mark Twain Elementary in southwest Detroit, just after the child was dropped off at school, police said.
The boy did not witness the shooting, which happened after the child left the vehicle and went into the building. The victim, whose name was not immediately released, was shot in the head.
A suspect was sitting in the rear passenger seat of the car that the victim and his child were in, investigators said. The suspect got out of the vehicle — a black Nissan — and fled after the shooting.
The male suspect, in his 20s, is black, 5 feet 7 inches tall, and about 180 pounds, police said.
“It’s very disturbing,” Detroit Police Chief Craig said at a news conference outside the school. “We are going to do everything we can. We’re confident that we’re going to bring some closure to this.”
Craig did not elaborate on a potential motive but said police have a couple of witnesses. He said the child has a brother in the military.
One school parent, Latrice Lee, 22, said her 4-year-old son is in the same class as the victim’s child. She did not witness the shooting.
“I just can’t believe that someone would do this at a school, where there’s plenty of kids,” said Lee, who arrived at the school about the same time as the ambulance. “(He) may have shot the bullet and it may have gone somewhere else.”
In 2016, Detroit logged 302 homicides, up seven from the previous year but lower by more than half the 714 killings that were committed in 1974. That’s a rate of almost 45 deaths per 100,000 people, topping all the 2016 homicide rates of cities with a population within 25,000 of Detroit.
Lee decided to pull her son out of class for Wednesday after learning what happened.
“I just wanted to get him out of school and go home,” she said. “I see the dad every day, dropping his son off at school in his mom’s truck.”
Detroit’s homicide rate tops cities of similar size
When looking at cities that have about 25,000 more or fewer people than Detroit, Motor City has the highest homicide rate.
|2016 homicides||2015 population||Rate per 100,000 people|
|Source: U.S. Census Bureau, USA TODAY research|