More than 145 people shot in Detroit in May, some for most absurd reasons

Some points on the map represent multiple victims.
Check out details of each shooting.

What’s a life worth in Detroit?

For a 21-year-old man this weekend, it was worth his pair of glasses. A mentally ill homeless man was shot in the back because he asked for a cigarette. And a 27-year-old father is accused of shooting five people, including a teenager, because of a petty dispute between neighboring children.

May nonfatal shootings by sex

It all happened in May, when more than 145 people were shot in Detroit, at least 23 of them fatally.

Although no area of Detroit was spared, records show an outbreak of shootings on the west side, where gun violence outpaced the east side by two-to-one. About 50 people were shot, eight fatally, in the adjacent zip codes of 48227, 48228 and 48235, all of which are on the west and northwest side of the city.

The most violent zip code in May was 48227, bordered by West Chicago to the south, Puritan to the north, the Southfield Freeway to the west and Meyers Road to the east. At least 19 people were shot there, three fatally.

Victims varied in age from 11 to 73. The average age was 30. Of those killed, 85% were male.

May Shootings by ZipcodeThe motives were numerous – robberies, rapes, drugs, revenge killings.

Here’s a sampling: A 48-year-old man was shot when he refused to stop boarding up his house on the 15800 block of Steel. On Thursday, an 18-year-old woman waiting at a bus stop at Morang and Kelly was shot after she refused to get into a car with strangers. A gunman in a truck intentionally crashed into a motorcycle, sending the 25-year-old rider off the bike, and then opened fire on the victim.

On May 15, the day Mayor Bing introduced new Police Chief James Craig, 13 people were shot.

There was some good news: 84% of the shooting victims survived. The average survival rate in Detroit is about 75%, according to crime records from the past three years.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Pingback: ccm4n5ts5mrctwy354wc3()

  • Pingback: cn7v5wocmtxwn5tvbtwxdfsddv()

  • Pingback: xcmwnv54ec8tnv5cev5jfdcnv5()

  • Pingback: ccn2785xdnwdc5bwedsj4wsndb()

  • Pingback: More than 125 shootings in June, victims ages 11-82 | Motor City Muckraker | Independent journalism dedicated to improving life in Detroit()

  • Rick Ector

    I dropped by the “Motor City Muckraker” to get his take on being thrown out of the Orr meeting today and came across this article on shootings in Detroit during this past May. It is a very sobering read. You should check it out.

  • drew

    Most of the perpetrators have extensive criminal records .Agressive policing including stop and search along with judges that give out long sentences would go a long way….some people simply are not capable of being among-st the rest of us.

  • I would like to know more about the man who was shot while boarding up his house. Why would someone do that?

  • Good article. Sad statistics.

  • MH

    While more cops would be nice, you would need hundreds… thousands.. Tossing 25 more officers out to the streets would be like trying to stop a moving train by throwing eggs at it.

    It’s the individual communities that need to get involved. You drive down many streets and yeah, burned out and empty houses that make the block look like a post-war zone. But if you look, you’ll also see quite a few houses where the owners are at least trying to maintain a sense of calm and decency, if only for themselves.

    The grass roots process pulled together by volunteers every year at Halloween, patrolling the streets, keeping watch, reporting incidents works really well, but it needs to happen more than just three four days a year.

    Also, you can’t ignore the fact that “street culture” is as much to blame for shootings and crime as anything else.

    Show me a single thug-life rap song that glorifies and enforces positive messages instead of pimping hoes, selling drugs and shooting anyone who “disses” you.

    Positive messages like going to church instead of a dog fight are long gone. Or how about helping your elderly neighbor with yard work instead of raping them and stealing their possessions. Or maybe getting an actual job and working for your money instead of producing more unwanted babies to get a bigger welfare check..

    • Boogie

      That was very well put MH….you echo my sentiments to the T….
      Thank you….

  • There is rarely a reason for a shooting that is not absurd. The true absurdity is that we are in a society that makes the “Wild West” look like a day care center. It may be absurd when two men get in a shoot-em-up over what Kool-Aid flavor to make (remember that one?) but it is also absurd when a man pulls a gun on you to take your car. We have the ability to stop this violence, but the powers that be would rather take the campaign contributions than actually fix society. THAT is the true absurdity.

    • You’re right. when is there a non-absurd reason to randomly shoot someone?

      The only time i can think of is in self defense or when a person with a gun acts in a way that could cause harm to another person.

      Otherwise, and based upon what you can read and infer from both this article and one similiar to it in the Freep, all of these reasons to be shot or to shoot are insane.

  • 313nomad

    My cousin Oscar grew up of Steel St. I remember playing on the street when I was a kid. its so sad for me to see the city did I love and grew up in collapse into chaos because people don’t care anymore, politicians don’t care anymore, City Council doesn’t care anymore, and the mayor doesn’t even care anymore.



    • PJ Tonkin

      What sunk the city is the ruin of the American auto industry, the flight of people to the suburbs, leaving only the elderly, the criminal, and a few hardy souls trying to change a desperate situation.

  • detroit

    48227 is crazy, when I grew up there 10 years ago, it wasnt like this, I still go over there often to check on some property. I will be much more careful now.

  • Scott

    This is sad… it seems life means so little to people.

    Where does the data come from?

    • bebow

      The lives of neighborhood residents mean less than nothing to the city’s elected and appointed. There is no other explanation for the decision to remove law enforcement from the neighborhoods and stand by passively while violent criminals run wild. This is the price neighborhood residents are paying for a vibrant downtown and Midtown, among several others. There was a selection.

      • Detroiter

        Bebow, the City isn’t spending extra money on Midtown and Downtown. Look at who is paying for the upgrades – Gilbert’s company provides security, DDP pays for the physical upkeep. Neighborhood residents are not paying for all of that. And even **if** tax dollars were going to downtown and Midtown, plenty of the commuters who work in the city pay their city income tax – no reason some of their money shouldn’t go to them too.

        • bebow

          The police were diverted out of the neighborhoods and into downtown and Midtown in approximately 2006. That is a fact the City of Detroit no longer denies. Crime exploded in previously decent, stable neighborhoods. If I recall correctly, a police commissioner recently had the nerve to suggest instituting an additional tax in order to return police to unserviced neighborhoods, while the residents in question have been receiving tax assessments inflated up to 10 times the true value of their properties and receiving nothing. DPD services are paid for by everyone, except the subsidized. We must start dealing in reality. The murders are real.