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Highland Park's 'Mama Shu' devastated after 23-year-old son is gunned down in Avalon Village

Mama shu
Posted at 9:30 PM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 23:06:15-05

HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. (WXYZ) — A Highland Park mother is trying to make sense of why her 23-year-old son was killed in Avalon Village, a place she built as a safe haven for the community.

Shamayin Harris, better known as Mama Shu, is trying to make sense of why her son Chinyelu Humphrey was killed on Jan. 26, in a place that was meant to be safe.

RELATED: Helping Each Other Story: 'Mama Shu' of Avalon Village still nurturing the community amid the pandemic

“He was actually ambushed and he was shot to death,” Mama Shu said. “Someone has trespassed on our property here on Avalon Street, between Woodward and Second. They’ve come over, they weren’t invited and they came over and they ambushed my son and they killed him."

Avalon Village was built after Mama Shu’s 2-year-old son Jakobi was killed in 2007 in a hit and run.

“That was just like out of the blue shock," she said. "But now, Chinyelu, my 23-year-old, I don’t even know how to really, really describe it."

Mama Shu says security will have to be beefed up and feels disrespected saying the killer came to Avalon Village to kill her son.

“We have to build up and we have to get more security," Mama Shu said. "I see I’m going to have to get fences up over the land that we own. We need a security company, we need a booth."

RELATED: Volunteers help to build Homework House for kids at the Avalon Village

In 2016, Mama Shu went on the Ellen show and talked about her vision to build up the park. Ellen ended up donating a small house, which is used as a welcome center and business space. Shu says people need a place to feel safe and says the work they continue to do for the community won’t stop.

“We still keeping it moving," she said. "None of that energy has stopped what we are doing. None of that destructive energy will stop what’s going on here because we’re on a mission, flat out."

Avalon Village is working to pay for funeral costs and added security. A GoFundMe account has been created to accept donations here. If you have any information about this shooting call Highland Park police.