NKSTER, Mich. — A suspect is in custody in the shooting that left a 2-year-old girl dead, critically injured a 12-year-old girl and left a 34-year-old man with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Michigan State Police.
Kamiya LaShawn Gross, 2, was shot in the head before the shooter turned the gun on her father and the other girl, police said in a news release. Investigators remained at the scene more than 12 hours after the shooting at about 8:30 p.m. ET Tuesday.
The triple shooting that ended the life of Kamiya French and left two of her relatives wounded violated the "code of the streets," neighbor Antwan Harrison said. A witness said Kamiya had been playing outside when she was shot in the head at point-blank range.
The 12-year-old was struck multiple times and is in stable condition, according to police. What appear to be bloodstains, a bottle of peroxide and two small, pink shoes could be seen at the porch where the incident occurred.
The shooting took place outside a public housing unit in Inkster, a Detroit suburb with a population of nearly 25,000. The name of the suspect was not immediately released.
Kamiya, who would have turned 3 next week, was identified by her mother, Erica Gross, according to the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office. Her death has been ruled a homicide.
"He shot the baby," said Andy Anderson, 51, of Detroit who was standing near a car when the shooting started. "I thought, 'No, he didn't.' And then he turned the gun and started shooting on the porch."
Anderson knew immediately that the 2-year-old was dead. As about nine shots rang out, he ducked behind the Chrysler Sebring he'd been walking toward.
"I tried to scoot up under the car because I thought he was gonna kill everybody," he said.
Moments earlier, a white van drove by the house, dropped the shooter off a few doors up the road, drove by the house again and parked on the other side of the house.
The shooter "casually" walked up, fired the shots and continued walking to the van, gun in hand, before the van drove away, Anderson said.
Ten minutes before the shooting, Anderson's grandchildren were riding inline skates with the girls who were shot. His grandkids went inside for dinner, and the shooter approached, Anderson said.
"My daughter's been up crying all night," he said. When police arrived, he said they put Kamiya in a patrol car and rushed her from the scene.
The shooting appears to be retaliation for a shooting in April, Inkster Police Chief Hilton Napoleon said. The adult shot and the suspect were at the scene of the April shooting.
"I want to make it clear to all the wannabe thugs, hoodlums and drug pushers that we're going to get you," Napoleon said during a news conference at Inkster City Hall.
Aaron Sims, 36, a community advocate who lives nearby said a vigil is planned for 8 p.m. Thursday.
He said the community is taking the shooting very hard.
"For something like this to happen to a child whose life hasn't even started yet, it's beyond sad," he said.
He said the neighborhood, normally full of the sounds of playing children, has gone quiet.
"You come over here any given day there's kids everywhere," Sims said. "The kids are about to be stuck in the house for probably the rest of the summer."