Davontae Sanford's Road to Freedom
Drug-related shootings leave 6 dead
Slayings contribute to Detroit's bloody toll of 10 people killed since Saturday
By Norman Sinclair / The Detroit News
Originally published Sept. 19, 2007
DETROIT -- To neighbors like John Matyn and Suphelia Pore, Michael David Robinson was "Big Mike," a husky, friendly guy who loved to cook barbecue and work on his vintage Oldsmobile.
But when police responded Monday night to a shooting at Robinson's home in the 19000 block of Runyon on the city's far east-side they found Robinson, 33, and three other persons shot dead and a fifth victim, Victoria Glover, 30, critically injured. Officers also found Robinson's son, Mike, 7, unhurt as the killers spared his life.
The shootings contributed to the city's toll of 10 people slain since Saturday.
Police found evidence of a marijuana operation at the Runyon address. There were plants growing in the backyard, a large amount in the house, and a plant-growing system in the basement.
Police believe Robinson and the others were shot in a robbery by possibly three assailants. The identities of the other victims -- a 22-year-old, a 20-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman -- were still not confirmed by Tuesday, police said. Police said the shooting was the second drug-related multiple killing reported on Monday.
Earlier in the day, officers were called to a home in the 14000 block Tuller on the west side, where the bodies of Aaron Killough Sr., 42, and his 17-year-old son Aaron Jr., were found by a friend. Police said Killough was a convicted drug dealer, and information they received indicated he and his son were trafficking in drugs.
"The reality is that with homicides it ebbs and flows. We've gone days when we have had none and then there are days like this," said Detroit police spokesman James Tate. "In Baltimore recently, they had six dead in 16 hours."
Matyn said on Monday night shortly before midnight he heard a barrage of shots coming from the direction of Robinson's house three doors away. When the shooting stopped, he looked out and saw a figure going in the front door, and after the door closed another volley of shots rang out.
Pore said she was watching television in her front bedroom when she heard the first three rounds of gunfire. She said when the shooting stopped, she looked out onto the street but didn't see anything
"I told my daughter to stay down and called the police," she said.
Matyn, who has lived on the street for 31 years, said he had known Robinson since Robinson moved in about five years ago. He said there was never a hint of Robinson's involvement with drugs. "He was always friendly and upbeat, he never acted like he was high," Matyn said. "He and I have the same kind of car and I used to loan him tools to work on his car."
Angel Matthews, who last year moved to Texas, said Glover was a very good friend who also lives on Runyon. Matthews said she was in Detroit recently and went to a party a week ago Friday at Glover's home where Robinson came over and did the cooking.
"He seemed to be a nice guy," Matthews said. She said Glover is single and has no children.
Matyn and Pore said the frightening sound of gunshots at night is not uncommon in the neighborhood. In the 19000 block, burned-out houses, vandalized buildings and boarded-up homes are as common as those still occupied. Matyn said police recently raided a known drug house farther down the street. "When I heard shots I used to count them, but I don't bother any more," he said.
A man was fatally shot Saturday at a coney island on Holbrook.
Four people were shot, one fatally, Sunday on Walton Street as they played cards on the porch of a home.
A man was fatally shot Sunday in the 9300 block of Livernois. Also on Sunday, a man was shot Sunday at East Seven Mile Road and Schoenherr Street
On Monday, Aaron Killough Sr., 42 and Aaron Killough Jr. 17, were found shot to death in Killough's home on Tuller
On Monday night, Michael David Robinson, 33, and two other men and a woman were shot to death on Runyon.