DetroitAugust 26, 2009
Possible witness in murder case killed in Detroit
By Cortney Casey and Jennie Miller
C & G Staff Writers
DETROIT — The fatal shooting of a man in Detroit could have bearing on a local murder case.
According to Sgt. Eren Stephens of the Detroit Police Department’s Office of Public Information, the 35-year-old victim died after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds as he emerged from a barbershop at Woodward and Melbourne around 7:35 p.m. Aug. 27.
Multiple media sources identified the man as a witness in a lethal Aug. 9 bar brawl at Arturo’s Jazz Theatre and Restaurant in Southfield, though Stephens said she could not immediately confirm the reports, as the investigation is ongoing.
Stephens said the department was not releasing the man’s name, nor his city of residence.
It appeared that no one actually saw the shooting occur, though several people heard it, she said.
“Witnesses heard multiple gunshots, and then they went to look and found him on the ground,” she said. “He was conveyed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.”
Southfield resident Robert Alexander, 33, died and five others were injured in the altercation earlier in the month at Arturo’s, located in the 25000 block of 12 Mile Road.
According to Southfield police, Alexander was struck with a glass bottle and a blunt object, resulting in massive head trauma. Alexander allegedly had approached the suspects — Darnell Cooley, 33, Eiland Johnson, 38, and Deandre Woolfolk, 20 — after a female friend told him she was harassed by the men.
Cooley, Johnson and Woolfolk stood mute at their Aug. 12 arraignment in Southfield’s 46th District Court, where they were charged with second-degree murder and lesser alternates of manslaughter, assault with intent to cause great bodily harm less than murder, and felonious assault.
At the arraignment, Southfield Police Detective Darrel Palmer told Judge Susan Moiseev that he’d received information from a federal law enforcement officer indicating that Cooley was part of a violent Detroit street gang.
“(The officer said) he has ties to a violent street gang in the city of Detroit that is responsible for numerous murders in and out of the state, and they believe that he is a flight risk and if he gets out he’ll leave the state,” Palmer said.
Arguing for bond, Cooley’s attorney, Steven Scharg, disputed the use of a weapon in the fight, noting that the police report indicated Cooley struck Alexander with his fist.
The judge ultimately denied Cooley and Johnson bond, but granted a $1 million bond for Woolfolk.
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