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No one called 911 despite man killed in front of elementary school on Detroit’s east side

Detroit police say ShotSpotter alerted them to shots fired Wednesday morning
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Posted at 4:48 PM, Jan 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-04 17:21:45-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — A deadly shooting happened Wednesday on the northeast side of Detroit.

Police were alerted to the scene of multiple shots fired at the corner of Fairmount Drive and Joann Avenue, right in front of Trix Academy, a charter elementary school.

Multiple bullet holes were visible in the exterior of the building. Police said numerous rounds were fired. Investigators on scene indicated around 20 shots in total.

However, police also said no one called 911. They say they were alerted by ShotSpotter technology.

Barbara, a neighbor who lives nearby, said she initially thought the gunshots were someone knocking at her door, but when she went to check, she saw the police down the street and realized it was a shooting.

“Saw nothing but somebody telling them, ‘We got 'em.’ Heard some shooting this morning, thought it was somebody knocking, but it wasn’t,” Barbara said.

Alton James works next door at St. Raymond’s parish. He’s the mission support director. He explained he was off Wednesday but ran over when he got a call someone was shot outside the school.

“It’s very unnerving. I mean, I come up here, it depends on what’s going on. If the boiler’s out I come here and open up the place and let the guys come in and do their work. And that could be 5, 6, 7 o’clock at night. I never worry,” James said.

It’s up to James to make sure the damage to the school, caused by the gunfire, gets repaired.

“Bullets do so much damage. I don’t know, this is crazy. Like I said, I never expected to get something like this today,” James explained.

He said he still can’t believe it.

“The violence that we’re all experiencing, it has to stop,” James said.

Detroit Police Department Cmdr. Ryan Connor explained what happened when police arrived just after 7:45 a.m.

“Units arrived on scene, they discovered the body of a male individual,” Connor said.

He said the shooting was being investigated as a homicide and they do have a few leads.

He credited the sometimes controversial technology ShotSpotter with providing valuable information.

“In this particular case, the ShotSpotter system, its sophisticated GPS technology, brought us right to where the victim was, allowed us to find evidence of the crime,” Connor said.

Fortunately, students at Trix Academy were still out on their winter break. A nearby neighbor said they thought they heard return fire, but right now, there’s no information supporting that from police.

Police said they’re continuing to investigate what happened.