Police arrested a suspect yesterday connection with the morning shooting spree in Detroit that left two people dead and three wounded, heightened concerns about the city’s rising murder rate and added urgency to demands for more police officers, says the Detroit News. A day-care center cook was fatally shot shortly after 6 a.m. while sitting in a car in front of the center. A man died after he was shot in the head and the chest about one block away. “It seemed to be random; it appears to be just a random shooting spree,” said one victim’s daughter.
The two killings brought the murder count for the year to 373, compared to 335 at this time last year and about 360 for all of last year. Detroit was recently ranked the nation’s second most dangerous city, after St. Louis, in a ranking compiled by Morgan Quitno Press, which ranks states and cities in various categories. Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said her department is hampered by a lack of officers in a cash-strapped city. She has about 3,200 officers, down about 1,100 from four years ago. On any given day, only half of those are available for work, due to vacation or illness. Federal aid for policing in Detroit has plummeted from about $30 million five years ago to about $2.5 million today.