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Vigil held for slain graphic artist on Detroit's east side

Amir Thaxton was shot at his t-shirt shop Thursday
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Posted at 11:05 PM, Feb 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-22 23:05:51-05

Messages of love for Amir Thaxton, written on red balloons, were released into the sky outside his T-shirt store Saturday night on E. 8 Mile near Gratiot; the same place he was shot and killed Thursday.

“I miss him so much already," said a close friend who attended the vigil outside Thaxton's shop.

The 41-year-old was a talented graphic designer, who family said learned from his past mistakes and worked hard to achieved success, and bring others up with him.

"To see him change to where he started from to have him taken now, it’s a blow to our family that we don’t even understand," said Thaxton's first cousin Malikah Akbar.

Detroit's Most Wanted fugitive and a suspect in a double murder in River Rouge, Kenyel Brown, is a person of interest in Thaxton's killing according to Detroit Police.

Saturday, U.S. Marshals announced Brown could also be connected to another killing, this one in Highland Park, bringing the total homicides he's believed to have ties to, up to six.

  • A homicide in River Rouge back in December
  • The double murder of Dorian Patterson and Kimberly Green on Jan. 30 in River Rouge.
  • Feb. 18 fatal shooting of a man in Highland Park
  • Feb. 20 fatal shooting of 41-year-old Amir Thaxton (Person of Interest)
  • Feb. 22 fatal shooting of 36-year-old man on Minnesota near John R. (Person of Interest)

"This person is armed and dangerous. They have already proven that they're capable of carrying out homicides," said Capt. Johnathan Parnell of the Detroit Police Department following Thaxton's killing.

Police said Brown may have taken off in the dark colored Dodge Van Thaxton drove to work, it has Texas a license plate NXL-7787.

For the person or people responsible for Thaxton’s murder, his family had few words.

“They don’t know what they took from us. They don’t understand what they took," Akbar told Action News.

Brown is considered armed and dangerous. If you see him, you should contact the U.S. Marshals Service at 313-234-5656 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-Speak-Up.