Detroit to crack down on illegal street parties after 21 people were shot, 2 fatally
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Detroit to crack down on illegal street parties after 21 people were shot, 2 fatally

Detroit authorities announced a crackdown on illegal street parties Monday after a spate of shootings at outdoor gatherings since July 4, which left two people dead and 19 injured in a single Sunday.

Detroit Police Chief James White said the shooting that occurred early Sunday morning at a large illegal street party on Detroit’s east side involved multiple shooters, including at least one who was armed with a handgun equipped with a so-called “Glock switch,” a banned device that turns semi-automatic Glock firearms into machine guns.

According to police, the shooting occurred around 2:25 a.m. on the city’s east side, near Wish Egan Field in the Mohican Regent neighborhood.

Detroit to crack down on illegal street parties after 21 people were shot, 2 fatally

Detroit police are investigating a July 7, 2024, shooting at a street party on the city’s east side that left two people dead and 17 injured.

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White said investigators found more than 100 shell casings and nine different weapons at the scene. He said the shooter killed 15 women and six men, including a 20-year-old woman who was fatally shot in the head and a 21-year-old man who was fatally shot in the back.

No arrests were announced.

White said police were nearby investigating a shooting at another illegal street party when the shooting broke out.

“We are not going to have neighbors being held hostage in their own homes this summer, and that is what is happening,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said at a news conference Monday attended by white and anti-violence community leaders.

Duggan said there have been six shootings at illegal pop-up block parties since July 4, including Sunday’s shooting, in which a total of 27 people were shot, three fatally. White said 11 of the victims were from out of town.

Duggan noted that the rally shootings come against the backdrop of a historic 33% drop in overall violent crime in the Motor City in 2023 compared to 2022, including an 18% drop in homicides and a 16% drop in non-fatal shootings.

“This threatens to undo a year’s progress and we intend to take action to address it,” Duggan said.

Going forward, White said a special task force of 80 officers will focus on responding to illegal street parties in the city and pursuing property owners and event organizers. He said other officers will be assigned to patrol the city to find illegal parties.

“These are pre-planned events that attract people who live miles away,” White said.

He added that organizers of pop-up street parties have tried to spread the word about the meeting discreetly on social media, attracting people from outside Detroit and even out of state.

White said anyone hosting a street party must follow established city rules, which require hosts to apply for a street party permit, notify police about the event and get permission from 75 percent of neighbors. He said city rules also require parties to end by 10 p.m.

He added that calls about illegal street parties in the 911 system will be marked as priority, meaning officers will be immediately dispatched to investigate.

White said since May, police have received more than 500 911 calls reporting disturbances caused by illegal street parties.

“We want to be clear that our goal at this time is not to prosecute the event participants, but the organizers,” White said.

Michigan State Police are assisting the Detroit Police Department in investigating Sunday’s shooting as part of a joint Homicide Task Force.

The motive for the shooting remains under investigation.

Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact Crime Stoppers or Detroit Police Detectives.

Sunday’s incident is the latest in a string of shootings that have recently occurred at illegal parties in Detroit.

Police said three women were shot and wounded on July 4 during an illegal street party in northwest Detroit that was attended by several hundred people.

On June 15, an 18-year-old girl was killed and five other people were injured, including a 14-year-old girl, during a street party on Detroit’s east side.

On June 1, four people were shot, two seriously, at a late-night party outside a home in north Detroit. Eight guns and 93 shell casings were found at the scene. Two of the weapons turned out to be stolen, including a Glock equipped with a switch, police said.