"These kids aren't mental, they are evil," said Brenda Clyburn, the mother of United States Air Force Sergeant Johnny Clyburn who was shot and killed in his own home by his fiancee's 19-year-old son, according to Detroit Police.
Clyburn, 41, was killed shortly after returning to his Detroit home from working the overnight shift at Selfridge Air National Guard Base where he was an active duty member of the 127th Security Forces Squadron.
Sergeant Clyburn's parents and siblings stood outside his home on Woodhall in shock, wondering how the 19-year-old their son tried to help, could murder him.
Nicolina Pace, 40, told Detroit Police that her son, who was arrested a few blocks away from the house Tuesday morning, has a mental illness. Detroit Police say they were also told that he hadn't been taking his medication.
"That person is evil," said Brenda Clyburn. "If you can pull a trigger on a gun, you know what you are doing."
Clyburn's relatives tell Action News that the teen, identified by Detroit Police as Antonio Hicks, was supposed to be moving out in just a few days and going to live with his father in Florida, but the teen did not want to go.
Police say Hicks also shot his mother in the leg, but they are not sure if she was an intended target. A spokesperson at the hospital where she was taken for treatment says she has been discharged.
Joseph Clyburn, who served in the U.S. Army, describes his son as honest and friendly. "And he was trying to help this kid," he said.
Clyburn leaves behind a seven-year-old son. That child is from a previous relationship and was not at the house at the time of the shooting.
Johnny Clyburn's best friend, Detroit Police Captain Darwin Roche, told Action New that Clyburn was giving "that Agape spiritual love to a troubled young teen and trying to get him on the path of righteousness and, unfortunately, it ended in his demise."
"Selfridge lost a valued member of our team to a tragic incident today. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Johnny's family, friends and his Security Forces brethren," said Col. Philip Sheridan, 127th Wing commander. "We are standing ready to help his family get through this trying time."