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Suspected gunman in fatal Ypsilanti, Detroit shootings found dead in Washtenaw County Jail cell

Orlando Whitfield had been housed alone in a single-person cell, Sheriff’s Office says

Orlando Whitfield (WDIV)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Orlando Whitfield, the suspected gunman in in two fatal Metro Detroit shootings, was found dead Sunday morning.

Whitfield was a person of interest in the deaths of Deandre Fizer III, 31, and his fiancée, Tonia Carter, 27. They were found fatally shot on June 21, 2021 inside a home on Northlawn Street in Detroit. Police said a 6-month-old baby was in the home unharmed.

Interim Detroit police chief James White said Whitfield was identified as a person of interest in the case.

Whitfield was awaiting trial for a 2018 armed robbery and fatal shooting in Ypsilanti. Marissa Edmunds and her boyfriend were shot on Jan. 11, 2018, in the course of a robbery at the University Green Apartments. Edmunds died, but her boyfriend survived.

Whitfield, a suspect in Edmunds’ murder, had been placed on house arrest until June 15, when he cut off his tether and fled.

Read: Ypsilanti murder suspect flees after being released on bond

Whitfield turned himself in to the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office on June 22. His attorney said Whitfield had no knowledge of the double-homicide in Detroit and only learned of the case when he turned himself in.

“He looked just as shocked as I was,” said Whitfield’s attorney, Ericka Julien.

The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office said Whitfield’s body was found in his cell at Washtenaw County Jail at about 7 a.m. Sunday. Authorities said he had been housed alone in a single-person cell.

Officials didn’t release many details, but said there was not any indications of foul play.

The Sheriff’s Office said an outside agency will be brought in to do an independent investigation into Whitfield’s death.


About the Author:

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.