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'Children should not be pulled into this': 4 children shot in 4 days across metro Detroit

Posted at 10:37 PM, Jun 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-20 23:55:52-04

(WXYZ) — As families gathered with candlelights near I-75 Saturday night, they remembered the life of 2-year-old Brison Christian, who was killed during a freeway shooting on Thursday. Brison and his family were driving home from his brother's basketball game when their car was riddled with bullets. Brison was still strapped in his carseat when he was shot. His 9-year-old brother sitting next to him was also shot, but survived.

“This has got to stop," yelled one man at the vigil. "This has gotta stop right now, we refuse to take it anymore.”

However less than 12 hours after the vigil near the corner of St. Mary’s and Plymouth on Detroit's west side, another child was shot. This time, an 11-year-old boy.

“Not only is the violence affecting adults but right now the violence is affecting children," said Commander Arnold Williams with the Detroit Police Department. "Children should not be pulled into this, at all.”

The 11-year-old was shot in the chest and taken to the hospital in stable condition, along with his 33-year-old father and another man in his 30’s. Police are still searching for a motive, but believe it may have been related to an earlier altercation.

“We need to stop the violence," Commander Williams said. "We’re 'One Detroit,' we’re one community. We need to come together and make sure we stop this violence.”

This latest shooting came just two days after a 13-year-old was shot in Inkster while also sitting in a car. He was still in critical condition as of Saturday.

“If we think about gun violence as an epidemic, a pandemic, than that leads us to a lot of ideas about how to fix it,” said L. Rowell Huesmann, a professor at the Univeristy of Michigan.

Huesman has studied gun violence and aggression among youth in Michigan cities. He says as more kids are exposed to gun violence, they become more likely to continue the cycle as they get older.

“If you can reduce gun violence, than that will have an effect on reducing gun violence more,” Huesmann said.

"We got to declare right here in the city of Detroit that we've had enough and it’s gotta stop,” said a man at the vigil for Brison.

As the community called for change in Brison’s name Saturday, Brison’s family also called for the violence to stop.

“The freeway shootings, they’re definitely out of hand," Brison's father Brian said. "It needs to end.”

The Christian family and Detroit Police are hoping people listen, before another young innocent life is taken and before another family is left to mourn.

“We cannot have another child shot in this city," said Commander Williams. "We can not afford to have another child shot in this city.”

"The hardest thing ever is for my son to be literally be dying in my arms and me being a father and I can't protect him," Brian said.

Police are still searching for the suspects in the shooting Sunday near Plymouth and St. Mary's. Anyone with information is asked to contact the 6th Precinct or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.