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Detroit Police: Sleeping boy, 8, shot and killed

8-Year-Old Boy Shot And Killed While Sleeping In His Bed

DETROIT (AP) - Sporadic gunfire isn't an unusual sound in the Brewster Homes public housing complex in Detroit, but booming noises that shook Tenesha Higgins early Wednesday morning were way too close.

Numerous shots were fired at an apartment building, with one piercing a wall and hitting an 8-year-old boy who was sleeping. The child - who Higgins described as a "good boy" who loved playing baseball - died 45 minutes later.

"I haven't been to sleep. I don't feel safe at all. I didn't go to work today. I didn't want to leave my baby," Higgins told The Associated Press as she and other women huddled together hours after another night of violence in a city struggling mightily to reduce its crime rate.

The boy's name wasn't released by police, but The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press identified him as Jakari Pearson.

No arrests were made, but police were speaking with a "person of interest" in the case, Detroit Police Officer Adam Madera said.

The shots were "fired from the outside" about 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, Madera said. Jakari was struck once and rushed to Children's Hospital of Michigan, where he died. An autopsy is scheduled Thursday, according to Wayne County medical examiner's office spokeswoman Mary Mazur.

Jakari's slaying follows the July 1 shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Inkster, southwest of Detroit. Police in that case have said KaMiya Gross was killed in front of her father as retaliation from an earlier shooting. Two men are charged in her death.

Neighbors and passers-by started a makeshift memorial of stuffed bears, dogs and other toy animals on the front porch of Jakari's home. Propped on the toys were handwritten cardboard signs that read: "CHILDREN ARE THE FUTURE!" ''GIVE OUR CHLDREN A CHANCE" and "UNITED WE STAND ... STOP THE VIOLENCE!!!!"

The Brewster Homes are two- and three-bedroom attached townhouses several miles northeast of downtown Detroit. Jakari and his mother lived in a corner unit, and he often was out in the yards and parking lot playing baseball with friends, neighbors said.

Higgins' unit is a few feet away from where Jakari lived, though in a separate building.

"I was just laying down to sleep," said Higgins, 30. "I heard the gunshots. It sounded like it was literally in front of the house. I waited, then I heard screaming and police sirens.

"I opened the door and the boy was laying in the street," she said, adding it appeared the mother's boyfriend was trying to rush him to the hospital.

Friends said Jakari was to enter the fourth grade at Spain Elementary this year.

"He was a good boy," Higgins said. Grief-stricken relatives of the boy declined to be interviewed Wednesday morning by the AP.

An officer was stationed late Wednesday morning on the back porch of the home to keep the curious from disturbing the area where the shots were fired. One slug tore through an upstairs window, while another appeared to cleanly pass through the exterior brick wall two feet beneath the window.

Detroit had seen 127 homicides from Jan. 1 through June 29, down from 159 over the same period in 2013, according to crime statistics posted on the police department's website.

Reducing crime and improving police response time to 911 calls are part of the city's restructuring efforts as Detroit heads into bankruptcy trials next month. Part of $1.4 billion that state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr wants to set aside over 10 years for essential city services would be used to fight crime.

Higgins is fed up with the shootings, robberies and burglaries in her neighborhood.

"It can get very dangerous," she said of life in the townhome complex.

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joper201 July 31 2014 at 12:30 AM

This little guy's and other little one's needless deaths are on the hands of sharpton, jackson the NAACP, the Black Caucus the democrat party and all of the other groups who make excuses for the inner city blacks and refuse to discuss the real problems.

The black community has to earn it's place in society.
No Affirmative Action, set asides, special programs or preferential treatment in schools and colleges.

Their loyalty to the democrat party for the last 60+ years has turned them into a bunch of spoiled brats who think the world owes them something.
All of the special programs have ingrained on them they are inferior and NEED all of these programs.
What's long enough??
50 years, 60 years?
Enough is enough!
Rev. King would be ashamed it has taken so long for Blacks to accomplish so little.
Until the majority of blacks EARN their place in society on their own America will never realize Rev Kings Dream.
We will continue to read about the deaths of innocent little ones like Jakari.

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26 replies
johngin1999 July 31 2014 at 2:33 AM

Where's Jesse & Al? Oh wait these RACISTS are only interested when a non-black kills a black. The they can capitalize on their RACIST agenda.
But this is just another of THOUSANDS of black on black killing each year in America that black DON"T rally against.
Now if white police try to investigate the shooting, they are stonewalled, and indirectly the blacks protect the shooters.
If blacks don;t care about blacks killing a black 8 year old..if blacks don;t rally about this like they swarmed when Trayvon was killed by a non-black, then I don;t care
Just another black on black killing that the black population in America doesn't give a squat about....and life goes on ...for some.

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6 replies
grdmaronda July 31 2014 at 12:31 AM

No amount of gun control will work to prevent innocent people being killed while criminals have guns. No legislation will keep the guns out of the hands of criminals. However if you think they will then keep voting for the liberal democrats and you'll still have innocent people being killed. Just like in Chicago, the liberals have been in charge for over 40 years and the criminals still are killing innocent people.

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4 replies
Gina July 31 2014 at 12:25 AM

This is just one of MANY that happen all the time. Some get on the news but many don't so I don't think people know just how bad it is around here. I'm so sorry for that little boy and his family. There's a whole generation of uncaring thugs that couldn't give a rat's ass if they kill a baby or not! It's all about pay backs and sending messages. Here's a message, GOD WILL DEAL WITH YOU IDIOTS ONE DAY!

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3 replies
mark and sheri July 31 2014 at 12:06 AM

Black on Black Crime? Sad, but near where I live, its a "No Snitch Rule", so it is very hard to catch people who do such a thing. Time for the POTUS and Holder to be REALLY involved rather than blame the Rich, so called traditional "White" society.

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4 replies
moooooooooochelle July 31 2014 at 12:26 AM


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7 replies
patriot1too July 31 2014 at 6:02 AM

This is what happens when America runs on high octane political correctness and no common sense. America has let the thugs run the show for too long with their saggy pants sideways cap neck tattoed hoody wearing rap posion nonsense. It has harmed our youth and our society. No doubt they will not blame themselves and their culture for this but find something to blame the most innocent white citizens.

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3 replies
R July 31 2014 at 1:38 AM

Oh my God, this beautiful child. How devastatingly sad. My heart and prayers are with his family.

What is happening in our country? What is going on?

To lose such a young boy, heart wrenching.

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1 reply
lstone_planner R July 31 2014 at 1:35 PM

The people who did this are no better than rabid animals and should be treated like rabid animals. What a shame.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Robert Mccallum July 30 2014 at 11:47 PM

How very sad. I feel bad for his family. It's always an awful thing to loose a child

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3 replies
tucville2002 July 31 2014 at 3:25 AM

I will not stop saying and warning that until our people, black people, as we are called today, return to Almighty God in this life, surrender and submit ourselves to Almighty God, worship and serve Almighty God only, do good works to our fellow man, and believe in the LAST DAY, our people will continue to hate and destroy each other, youths and adults killing each other, poverty, poor education, and we will not be respected by others. We will continue to experience all sorts of illnesses, dishonesty, discrimination, hostilities, and the evil list goes on and on in many ways beyond our knowledge.
Our duty and obligation is to worship and serve Almighty God only, because there is no other god besides Almighty God, whether we are christians, muslims, jews, hindus, or whatever.
True Faith Minister.

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3 replies
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