'Are we going to fix this?': Event calls for action after July 4 violence in Detroit

Posted at 10:52 PM, Jul 10, 2024

DETROIT (WXYZ) — “This is a call to action to everybody in the city of Detroit,” Detroit City Council member Latisha Johnson said during a Wednesday evening Stop the Violence event at Edmore Marbud Park on Detroit's east side.

During the event, elected officials, city leaders and community members prayed for the injured and mourned those killed in multiple shootings on Fourth of July weekend.

“She 20 years old. She got shot in her face,” the uncle of Shanae Fletcher said.

Fletcher was one of two people killed at a block party early Sunday morning, where in total, 21 people were shot.

“Hearing the videos, those kids were scared," Fletcher's Uncle Q said. "I haven't been through nothing like that.”

The scene of that shooting was just a few blocks away from the east side park hosting Wednesday's event.

VIDEO: Shootings at illegal block parties across Detroit over July 4 weekend left 3 dead, 24 injured

Illegal block parties across Detroit over July 4 weekend left 3 dead, 24 injured

“I’m still devastated by what happened," Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield said. "The community should be devastated by what happened.”

The event was organized by Sheffield and highlighted community-based violence intervention programs and resources.

“Showing our youth they don't resolve conflict by picking up a gun, they don't resolve beef by picking up a gun,” Sheffield said.

“It’s OK to disagree," said Shawn Hurst, a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. "We’re not always going to see eye to eye on everything, but it’s not OK to take another ones life.”

Hurst is one of the many brothers from the fraternity showing support for Jordan Thornhill. The 22-year-old was killed at another block party on the west side Fourth of July night. He recently graduated from Michigan State University, where he was a member of the same fraternity and the same chapter as Hurst.

VIDEO: Recent MSU graduate among victims killed at July Fourth block parties in Detroit

MSU Grad gunned down at block party

“You can look at the age ranges of people here," Hurst said looking around the group. "It doesn't matter how old you are in the fraternity or how young you are in the fraternity. We are brothers and we are united.”

The night Thornhill was shot, Detroit police reported 10 shootings with 13 victims. Many of the shootings were at block parties. The rally on Wednesday not only honored those killed and injured but vowed not to let it happen again.

“It’s not a call of action to dismantle block parties. It's a call to action to keep the community safe and have legal block parties,” said community activist and Violence Intervention Specialist Ray Winans.

VIDEO: Block parties in Detroit must be approved by the city; here's how it works

Block parties in Detroit must be approved by the city; here's how it works

“Are we going to fix this s*** or not?" Fletcher's Uncle Q said during the event. "Don't just have this (press) conference just to talk about it because then tomorrow is over and everybody's back to living their life.”

Eleven of the 19 hospitalized victims from Saturday's shooting have been released from the hospital. Right now, no one is in custody.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.