Man Arrested in Slaying of 5-Year-Old Detroit Girl

September 14, 2018 Updated: September 14, 2018

DETROIT—A 5-year-old Detroit girl was fatally shot in the head while in bed with her mother, who was shot at least 16 times during an attack that may have resulted from a rift between the woman and her relatives, police said Friday.

Police burst into a different home looking for suspects a few hours after the Thursday night shooting and fatally shot a man who confronted them with an assault-style weapon, said police Chief James Craig.

Another man, believed to be the gunman in the shooting of the girl and her mother, was arrested around noon Friday.

Craig defended the police shooting of the man, saying: “When an individual is armed with this weapon, and this weapon is pointed in the direction of a police officer, clearly that officer believes he’s facing an imminent threat.”

Police gather at a Detroit home
Police gather at a Detroit home where a man was shot and killed early Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, by police during the execution of a search warrant in connection with the death of a 5-year-old girl. (Leonard Fleming /Detroit News via AP)

The girl’s mother was being treated for multiple wounds at an area hospital. Her condition wasn’t immediately known. The names of the victims and the suspect haven’t been released.

The chief said the violent chain of events began Thursday night on Detroit’s west side. Craig said a lone gunman entered the woman’s bedroom and opened fire as she lay in bed. The woman’s daughter was shot in the head and died at a hospital.

Asked about a motive, Craig said there was an “ongoing family dispute” between the woman and her sisters.

“Some witnesses said there was a loud argument between sisters” earlier Thursday, he said. “It’s well known they’ve had problems in the past.”

“This is tragic,” police Commander Elaine Bryant said. “The child is an innocent victim and we don’t know why this child was targeted in this manner.”

McKayla Coleman, 19, said she was asleep when police “busted in the house” and shot the man.

“All I heard was a big boom,” she said.