Detroit man pleads guilty to murder in deadly shooting over Air Jordans

Dante Tyrell Ford

DETROIT – A 20-year-old Detroit man was in court Wednesday and pleaded guilty to murder charges in the deadly shooting of a 17-year-old boy during an arranged meeting for the sale of Air Jordan shoes.

Dante Tyrell Ford pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and felony firearms violations.

Ford fatally shot Corey Harris-Thomas and injured another man inside a car in the 15300 block of Pinehurst Street near Fenkell Avenue and Meyers Road on Detroit's west side.

Police said Harris-Thomas and his 24-year-old friend met with Ford at about 1:30 p.m. on June 6 because Harris-Thomas had arranged to sell Ford a pair of Air Jordan shoes.

Ford got into the back of Harris-Thomas' SUV and the three drove around for two blocks at Fenkel Avenue and Pinehurst Street, police said. Ford allegedly pulled out a handgun, so the 24-year-old also pulled out a handgun.

Police said the two men wrestled over the guns, and Ford fired a shot, hitting the 24-year-old in the arm, police said. The 24-year-old fired his gun, and Ford fired again, fatally wounding Harris-Thomas, police said. Harris-Thomas fell out of the SUV and the car crashed into a fence near Fenkell and Pinehurst.

Ford also sustained a gunshot wound. He allegedly got out of the SUV and ran away from the scene.

The 24-year-old man called police and stayed at the scene on Pinehurst Street. When officers arrived at 1:43 p.m., they found Harris-Thomas' body in the street. Medical officials pronounced Harris-Thomas dead at the scene.

Ford was arrested at 12:30 a.m. on June 7 by Detroit police.


Here is some of Local 4's previous coverage of the shooting:

Preliminary hearing gets underway

The 24-year-old man who was with Harris-Thomas took the stand and told the court about the shooting.

He said they met Ford to sell him pair of Air Jordan 11s. The witness said he was armed when they met Ford.

Ford allegedly got into the vehicle and pulled out a handgun. The witness reacted and tried hitting the gun out of Ford’s hand. The 24-year-old witness was hit by the first shot. A following shot hit Harris-Thomas.

The witness tried firing a shot but the gun jammed and Ford allegedly got out of the vehicle and fled on foot.

The defense attorney asked why Harris-Thomas asked the witness to come along with him to make the sale. Watch the witnesses response below:

Ford also charged in robbery

Ford has also been charged in a separate incident. Police said at noon Tuesday Ford arranged to meet a 16-year-old boy in the area of Birwood Avenue and Midland Street in northwest Detroit to buy a pair of Air Jordans from him.

Ford is accused of robbing the teen at gunpoint and fleeing the scene.

He has been charged with armed robbery, felon in possession of a firearm and a felony firearms violation.

A 16-year-old boy took the stand at Ford's preliminary hearing. He told the court that he placed an advertisement online for a pair of his Air Jordan shoes for $160.

The boy said that he and two friends met Ford to sell him the sneakers. He said that Ford grabbed the shoes from him and pulled out a handgun.

Ford allegedly told them to “pull off before I spark this b****.”

The boy said they left the scene and headed Downtown.

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About the Authors:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.