Elderly Detroiter accused of shooting at WXYZ news crew

An 88-year-old man who had been recently robbed at gunpoint at his house shot at a WXYZ news crew Monday as they tried to interview him about his traumatic experience.

And incredibly, police showed up within minutes.

WXYZ  reporter Jonathan Carlson and a photographer were trying to interview the homeowner at his lower east side home on Arndt near the Heidelberg Project.

“As with many of these cases, we try to give the victim a chance to talk to us so we can more accurately tell the story of what happened and help police find the suspects,” Carlson explained.

Jonathan Carlson

Video shows Carlson knocking on the door and urging the elderly man to talk for an interview.

“It’s OK,” Carlson implored, “you can come down.”

According to WXYZ, the man came to the door with a handgun, prompting Carlson and the cameraman to take cover behind a tree. Carlson said the homeowner shot once at him and his cameraman, but no one was struck.

After calling 911, police arrived within minutes, handcuffed the homeowner and searched the house. A gun was never found.

Just days earlier, the homeowner underwent a horrifying experienced. Two robbers shoved him to the ground, placed a gun to his head, tied him up with a phone cord and covered his face with a blanket.

Despite that experience, Carlson said he had no qualms doing the interview.

“I was keenly aware that this man had been through a traumatic experience,” he said. “Nonetheless, he stepped out on his porch without clear warning and shot.”

Carlson said the camera was not rolling when the shot rang out.

Police are investigating.

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.

  • queenie1

    Channel 2 had been at this man’s house right before channel 7 showed up. Marielle Liu (sp?) talked to him on his porch and tried to convince him for the longest that she was not trying to rob him. He would not believe her, and when she finally left his porch the reporter from channel 7 went up there. How in the hell are TWO news trucks at the man’s house at the same time trying to get a story, days after he was robbed. The poor man was scared to death and as far as I am concerned, they just kept harrassing him. No wonder he shot. The media sometimes goes too far in trying to get a story and honestly I’m surprised more of them don’t get shot at.

  • Michael K Kuentz

    any cameraman worthy of his profession would know that you when you approach someone to talk or be interviewed on the spot without prior notice that the camera be already recording.