Man with unloaded gun killed by victim
May 19, 2007
BY BEN SCHMITT and JACK KRESNAK
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
A robbery and crime spree aided by an unloaded gun came to a halt late Thursday when the gunman met more than his match: a gun with bullets.
Charles Parker Jr., 18, of Detroit was killed when a 53-year-old man pulled out a 9mm handgun and shot the teen, who was armed with an unloaded .22-caliber handgun.
Detroit police are calling it self-defense.
The botched carjacking on Grand River and Prevost came after a string of robberies in Detroit on Thursday, which police said were committed by Parker and four others, ranging in age from 16 to 20.
The robberies began about 8:40 p.m. Thursday at Kentucky and Curtis when a 16-year-old was robbed of his cell phone, a silver chain and his wallet, by at least two of the suspects, police said.
At 9:30 p.m., the robbers attempted to carjack a couple in the driveway of their home in the 19600 block of Appoline, police said. One pointed the unloaded gun at the couple and pulled the trigger.
The teens fled without the car.
Later, police said, the robbers saw a man at a Detroit car wash and tried to carjack him. The one approached with the unloaded gun and the other wielded a baseball bat, police said.
That's when the man washing his car fired, striking Parker.
Parker's alleged accomplices took him to Sinai-Grace Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Hospital security officers detained the other youths until police arrived. Police spokesman James Tate said a 17-year-old Detroit female, 16-year-old Southfield boy, a 19-year-old Southfield man, and a 20-year-old Detroit man are in custody.
They face arraignment on armed robbery charges today in Detroit's 36th District Court.
After the shooting, police questioned the 53-year-old man and released him, noting that he had a valid concealed weapons permit.
Then they gave him back his gun.
Contact BEN SCHMITT at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2007 Detroit Free Press Inc.