Both Detroit and the suburbs saw high-profile murders in 2012 - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Both Detroit and the suburbs saw high-profile murders in 2012

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By Amy Lange
Fox 2 News


SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- 375 -- that's the official homicide number for Detroit as of December 16 and the year is not over yet.  However, Detroit wasn't the only local city making headlines with high-profile murders this year.  Some of 2012's most shocking crimes happened in the suburbs.

You can blame Detroit's numbers on the financial crisis, a shortage of police officers on the streets and easy access to guns, but as we looked back at some of the most disturbing stories of 2012, it's clear the violence extends well beyond Detroit's borders.

2012 started out violently.  By the time nine-month-old Delric Miller was murdered at his home in a still unsolved drive-by shooting, Detroit was already on track for record violence.

Twelve-year-old Kad'ejah Davis was killed in her own home when shots were fired outside in an argument over a cell phone.

Westland teens Jacob Kudlah and Jourdan Bobbish were found murdered in a field.

There were too many crime scenes and too many deaths in Detroit like the two security guards killed while working at Club Pandemonium -- Marcel Jackson, a husband and father and volunteer with the Detroit 300, and Lewis Ferrin, a loving family man.  Just two of the too many.

Detroit is on track to have its deadliest year in two decades.  According to Detroit Police, there were 375 homicides as of December 16, up twelve percent over last year.  The medical examiner's office puts the number even higher at 387.

Most of the murdered have been young black men.  Most of the time they knew their killers, but their means of conflict resolution is simply to grab a gun.

"We've even had cousins shoot each other, so you can't put [the] police on every corner and [in] every house," said Ron Scott with Peace Zones for Life.

He noted the Detroit was not alone.  The suburbs saw some of the most violent crimes in decades, including the strangulation of Grosse Pointe Park mother, wife and businesswoman Jane Bashara.  Handyman Joseph Gentz pleaded guilty.  Her husband, Bob Bashara, still has not been charged.

Two women from Hamtramck were kidnapped in a hail of gunfire, stuffed in a trunk and missing for weeks.  The bodies of Abreeya Brown and Ashley Conaway were found buried in a Detroit park.  Their killers are in prison.

In Farmington Hills, Mitchell Young and Tucker Cipriano are charged with killing Cipriano's father and nearly killing his mother and brother.  Allegedly high on K2, they're accused of beating them with baseball bats.

"He'd cut her up, put her in a cooler with chains around it and a ratchet strap and take the boat upriver and dump the body," a witness testified.  That's what Roger Bowling allegedly said he would do and is charged with doing in Allen Park to his ex-girlfriend, Danielle Greenway, and her partner, Chris Hall.  They were shot, dismembered and dumped in the Detroit River.

Jonathon Hoffman was allegedly killed by his own grandmother, 74-year-old Sandra Lane, in West Bloomfield.  She allegedly shot him multiple times and said she was afraid of him and his use of K2.

Also in West Bloomfield, Officer Patrick O'Rourke was killed responding to a call at the home of Ricky Nelson Coley, who fired on police for hours before killing himself.

Then in Troy, University of Notre Dame med student Patrick Mikes, Junior is accused of killing his own father and dumping his body near Flint.

The violence, said Scott, is bigger than Detroit and better tackled together.

"Violence does not stop at some imaginary line.  It happens in the lives and families of our communities.  All of us have to find a different way to resolve conflict before it gets to the level of finality."

Scott and his Peace Zones for Life are working on a summit for the city and the suburbs to come together to work on conflict resolution.  This problem is clearly not just a police issue, but a community one.

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