Police on Thursday arrested a man suspected of opening fire into a crowd that had gathered for the city’s annual fireworks display, wounding nine people and forcing hundreds of revelers to scatter.
Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said Wednesday night’s shooting apparently followed an argument and that innocent people were caught in the crossfire.
Hundreds of thousands of people packed into downtown and along the Detroit River that runs between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, to watch the display, a summertime tradition that celebrates the bonds between the cities.
Late Thursday, Bully-Cummings announced that police had arrested a man in his early 30s whom several witnesses had identified as the shooter. Charges had not been issued late Thursday against the Detroit man, whose name was not released.
Police also were looking for a second man who is believed to have had “some involvement” in the incident, though Bully-Cummings stressed that investigators think the man in custody was the lone shooter.
Police also had interviewed two young men — believed to be witnesses, not suspects — who were in pictures taken at the scene by a bystander with a digital camera. Bully-Cummings said the mother of the young men brought them to police headquarters after the pictures were released, but they did not get a good look at the shooter.
Nine people — four men and five women ranging in age from 17 to 47 — were shot, police said.
Two patients remained in critical condition Thursday evening, four were in stable condition and three had been discharged, said hospital spokeswoman Karen Wood.
One of the victims, 22-year-old Lewis Nelson, suffered a bullet wound to his heart, police said.
His sister Tracey Nelson said her older brother was shot twice, in the thigh and the side. She said he remained in critical condition Thursday evening, but had shown some signs of improvement during the day.
“Every time I think about him I just pray, just asking the Lord to just spare my brother, just spare him. He’s too good,” Nelson said.