Students charged as adults in shooting

By: Gena Johnson | Warren Weekly | Published September 25, 2023

File photo by Patricia O'Blenes


WARREN — Four teens were arraigned in the 37th District Court on Sept. 25 and will be tried as adults for the attempted murder and attempted robbery of a 26-year-old man, who was left in critical condition after a shooting earlier this month.

Laron Hansend, Noah Brown, Eddie Dudley, and Kaden Butler are all Warren Woods Tower High School students who range in age from 14 to 15 years old. They were charged with assault with intent to murder, armed robbery, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, all punishable by up to life in prison. Hansend, Brown and Dudley also face felony weapons charges related to the Sept. 14 shooting.

“My office made the decision to charge these teens as adults,” said Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido. “This decision was driven by the premeditated nature of their alleged crimes, which involved a shooting. Their alleged actions have left the victim critically injured, as the attack was extremely violent. It is a stark reminder that, in the eyes of the law, these juveniles require the same consequences as if they were adults.”

During a press conference at Warren’s Christopher M. Wouters Police Headquarters on Sept. 19, Police Commissioner William Dwyer provided information about the shooting that put an elementary school, Macomb Community College and Warren Woods Tower High School in lockdown mode. At around 3 p.m. on Sept. 14 near Martin and Bunert roads, the victim was found shot several times in the driver’s seat of a blue sedan, which crashed in the driveway of a nearby residence. According to police, the shooting was the result of an attempted robbery that went awry.

“I want the public to know the incident was not a random crime. This investigation has shown that this was a planned robbery attempt that was coordinated by all four of the suspects that are in custody. Again, they are 14 and 15 years old, which is very disturbing,” Dwyer said. “The investigation further shows the victim was known to sell marijuana in the area. We believe this was also a factor in the well-planned robbery attempt.”

The alleged marijuana dealer was known to have money and the teens intended to rob him, according to the commissioner.  There were two shooters, and the victim was shot three times.

“He (the 26-year-old-victim) was shot in the left arm, right hand and the throat,” Dwyer said.  “The victim has undergone several surgeries and will likely be paralyzed as a result of the incident.”

According to the commissioner, it is the gunshot wound to the throat that is likely to cause paralysis.

“Violent crime amongst juveniles has soared since 2020. There has been a 30% increase in homicides committed by juveniles across the country,” said Dwyer.  “Many times, there is a lack of adult interaction and a lack of positive adult role models in a juvenile’s life which help contribute to the crimes. Most of the time we find that there is no father in the family and there is no real adult supervision. That is the causation for many of the violent crimes throughout the country today.”

Warren Mayor James Fouts expressed concern about the statistic.

“It also concerns me as a former high school government teacher about having a 14- and 15-year-old, two of each, involved in a serious crime like this. I think it gives us pause that we need to have better communications with the high schools,” said Fouts.

“So I am proposing to Police Commissioner Dwyer that the Police Department get together with the leaders and the superintendents of each of the school districts in Warren and meet to see what we can do to stem this bad tide.”

“They’ve got to be rehabilitated,” Dwyer said. “I think by serving some jail time is going to help them be rehabilitated. If they don’t get jail time, they’re going to go right out, in my opinion, and commit more violent crime. But the sentencing is up to the judge.

“I believe they are at that age where they can be rehabilitated,” Dwyer said.

Three of the four teens arrested are Warren residents and one lives in Oak Park.

According to the commissioner, guns were seized after search warrants were executed at each of the juveniles’ residences.

Each of the teens entered a not guilty plea before visiting Judge William Crouchman who set the bond for Hansend, Brown and Dudley at $750,000 cash or surety, while Butler’s bond was set at $250,000 cash or surety.

“His (Butler’s) bond was set at that ($250,000) because he was the lookout and the others were directly involved in the shooting itself,” said Dwyer.

All four suspects requested court-appointed attorneys, according to court records. No attorneys had been appointed at press time.

A probable cause conference for the four teens is scheduled for 8:45 a.m. Oct. 3. The preliminary exam is tentatively scheduled for 8:45 a.m. Oct. 10 before 37th District Court Judge Michael Chupa.