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City of Pontiac to discuss camera installation with troubled apartment complex

Posted at 6:39 PM, Apr 11, 2024

PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) — Tyra Hewitt said she’s deeply concerned about the violence at North Hill Farms Apartments.

A 24-year-old man was shot to death early Wednesday morning, and two other people were injured. The Oakland County Sheriff's Office said another shooting happened this past Sunday.

See my report on the shootings from Wednesday:

Deadly triple shooting marks latest violence at Pontiac apartments

We discovered Hewitt and her legal battle with the complex during a visit to the Oakland County Courthouse.

“They know that people here are low-income. Right? And they treat people here like they’re nothing. You’re not important because you ended up here. I didn’t end up here by choice," she said.

Hewitt said, “If you’re not participating in the chaos or if you’re trying to beautify by making your yard look better or just staying out the way, then you’re the problem.”

“The people that smoke, drink, hang out all day, create chaos, (and) paying $25 rent, they get to live freely," she explained.

Hewitt mentioned low rent because it’s Section 8 Housing and the federal government subsidizes the rest. That further raises concerns about an apparent lack of oversight and if rules are being followed.

Wednesday, I had an unexpected interaction with resident Joann Johnson about the triple shooting. I happened to interview her in June about a deadly quadruple shooting. She said nothing's changed.

See my report from June where I talked with Johnson:

1 dead, 3 hurt in Pontiac shooting

To try and get answers, I called the leasing office Wednesday, left a message for the manager but didn’t hear back.

So, I stopped into the office Thursday, left my number again and requested a number for the management company. I called but haven’t heard back.

I also reached out to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office to see how many calls for service they received here recently. I'm waiting to hear back.

To escalate the issue and get action, I took residents’ concerns to Pontiac Mayor Tim Greimel.

“There have been a lot of very serious incidents at this particular housing complex over a number of years. Based on those incidents, we had a conversation with the property management and the owner last year. They did agree, as part of the next round of renovations at that complex to install security cameras," the mayor explained.

He added, “When this shooting happened on Tuesday, we immediately reached out to them yesterday to ask what the timeline is to get those security cameras installed.”

Greimel said the city scheduled a meeting for Friday to have that conversation, and he’ll involve HUD if necessary.