Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Breaking News: Shooting at W. Warren/Southfield

I heard the gun shots. A few minutes later, I heard the news choppers overhead.

Earlier this afternoon, two people wearing masks pulled up in a green minivan to the Shell gas station (17720 W. Warren) and started shooting. When it was all done, at least 5 teenagers were shot, although some reports have put the number of victims as high as 7.

No one is in custody at this moment.

More on this as the story develops.

UPDATE @ 3:59 p.m.
WXYZ-TV is reporting that each of the shooting victims have been identified and the Detroit Public Schools are notifying their parents. The victims range in age from 14 - 17.

UPDATE @ 5:38 p.m.
Both WDIV-TV and WXYZ-TV are reporting that both of the shooters in this case were dressed in black t-shirts and black pants. Assuming that they also wore black shoes, this would likely indicate that they were members of one of the drug gangs that have been operating in Warrendale for several months.

Also, the Detroit Police Department has confirmed that there were a total of 7 victims in this shooting - 3 males and 4 females. 5 of these individuals are students. All of them have been taken to area hospitals for treatment.

There are still news choppers overhead.

UPDATE @ 7:51 p.m.
The news choppers are gone now. WDIV-TV still has one of their vans parked across the street from the crime scene. The police are gone as well.

Other than that one news van, the corner looks so much like it did this morning that it's actually a little eerie. I feel like the place should look different now that 7 teens have been shot at that spot.

The one bit of good news that I can share is that the Detroit Police Department has reportedly found the green minivan that was used in this shooting. It was almost certainly stolen. Hopefully, they'll be able to find a few clues in it to find and convict those responsible for this atrocity.

UPDATE @ 10:58 p.m.
Since my most recent update, I have learned that 5 of the 7 victims in this shooting were students in the summer school program at Cody High School's 9th Grade Academy (7350 Southfield Fwy.). The other 2 teens reportedly were not students.

The Detroit Police Department has reportedly obtained the security tapes from the Shell gas station near where this shooting took place. They hope to find some clues as to the identity of the shooters, their motive for a shooting or both.

Finally, there is at least a rumor in the neighborhood as to the motive for this senseless shooting. I have heard reports that an argument of some sort happened between two of the female victims of the massacre this afternoon and another woman. This other woman than reportedly made a phone call to her boyfriend. That boyfriend then drove to where he knew the two victims would be so that he could settle this grudge with gunfire.

The other 5 victims in this shooting were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Detroit Free Press is reporting a similar version of events, where the shooting was the result of a fight that happen yesterday at the school.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Detroit May Crack Down On Strip Clubs

WDIV-TV is reporting that the Detroit City Council will consider a proposal to ban alcohol from strip clubs in Detroit. The proposed rule changes would also stop lap dancing, close VIP rooms and force topless dancers to wear opaque pasties. It would also require the topless dancers to remain 6 feet from the patrons and on a stage at all times.

Rob Katzman, owner of the Toy Chest Bar and Grille (18728 Ford Rd.) in the Warrendale neighborhood, told WDIV that these potential changes would put nearly all of the clubs out of business. The Toy Chest is 1 of approximately 30 strip clubs in Detroit; meaning that we have 1 strip club every 4.6 square miles on average.

Quite frankly, I think this is an incredibly stupid idea from an urban planning perspective. Vibrant cities have a variety of entertainment options, even ones that some people might think of as morally objectionable.

More importantly, if all of the legal strip clubs in Detroit are driven out of business by excessive regulation then that will simply create a tremendous opening for the illegal strip clubs who will inevitably set up shop. No matter what one might think of the current, legal strip clubs in Detroit, there can be little argument that the illegal ones that appear from time to time are much worse.

These problems, of course, are compounded by the fact that the Detroit Police Department currently has a shortage of police officers to handle their existing case load. There is simply no way that they will be able to respond effectively to the scores illicit strip clubs that we will soon have in our neighborhoods.

I have to admit, though, that I don't think that the Detroit City Council would be entertaining this proposal if it wasn't for the fact that at least one member of the council will soon be under federal indictment on corruption charges. This, of course, puts every member of the council under a cloud - forcing them to appear as upright Christians who can be trusted for another term of office during an election year.