10 people shot at Detroit barber shop, at least 2 dead

7:27 AM, Nov 7, 2013   |    comments
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Police investigate outside Al's Place Barbershop after a multiple shooting on 7 Mile on Wednesday, Nov 6, 2013. / Andre J. Jackson/Detroit Free Press

DETROIT (Det. Free Press) -- They were playing dice inside Al's Place Barber Shop on Detroit's east side when gunfire rang out Wednesday evening.

Someone opened the door.

As bullets came in, many of the people who were gathered inside ran for their lives, taking cover at nearby businesses, including a party store across the street.

When it was over, 10 people had been shot - at least two fatally - a particularly bloody scene in a city well-known for its rampant shootings. It served as another reminder of the violence in Detroit, second only to Flint nationally in homicide and violent crime rate, at a time when elected leaders and others are focusing on ways to reduce the bloodshed that's all too common in many neighborhoods.

No arrests had been made by Wednesday night. Police said the business is known for gambling, but the motive for the shooting wasn't clear, nor did investigators know whether anyone in the barbershop was targeted.

Lorne Carter, 48, was smoking a cigarette against the wall of a nearby business when he said he heard about 30 to 40 shots fired around 6 p.m. near the barbershop in the 5200 block of East Seven Mile.

"It sounded rapid," he said.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said all of the victims are male, but no ages or names were released. Police first said there were three fatalities, but changed it to two just before 8 p.m.

Police are looking for at least two shooters and two Chevrolet Impalas - one black and one white - which may have bullet holes in the back.

"I can't even imagine what would cause this type of violence," Craig said.

The shooting started near the rear of the barbershop, according to a police source familiar with the investigation. The black Impala pulled into the alleyway, followed by the white Impala and a third vehicle, the source said.

Two people from the white Impala began shooting at the third vehicle, the source said. At some point, the door of the barbershop opened, and people inside were shot.

The bodies of the two people shot and killed were still in the barbershop at 8 p.m. as police continued their investigation.

Police were interviewing witnesses, but it's unclear how many people were inside or outside the barbershop at the time of the shooting, police spokesman Sgt. Michael Woody said.

The victims were transported to multiple hospitals, including Detroit Receiving. The 10th victim came to a Detroit hospital just after 10 p.m. with a gunshot wound.

One is listed in critical condition, police said.

A distraught mother, who did not want to give her name, said she believes one of the men who was killed is her 40-year-old son. She said her three sons were in the barbershop at the time of the shooting, and one escaped and ran home to tell her and she rushed to the scene.

"I heard he's dead ... they won't let me up there," she said from a gas station near the scene.

That son had gone to the business to get bus money from his brother, she said. Her other two sons made it out uninjured.

Lonzetta McGeorge, 24, was leaving her home to go to a business by the barbershop when she heard the gunfire.

"It's just so sad," she said.

By Gina Damron, Ann Zaniewski and Elisha Anderson, Detroit Free Press staff writers

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