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2 men charged in robbery, shooting of transgender woman in Detroit

Prosecutor's Office says semi-automatic rifle used

Detroit police chased a red SUV on Nov. 17, 2017 after a robbery and shooting near Woodward Avenue and Worcester Place. (WDIV)
Detroit police chased a red SUV on Nov. 17, 2017 after a robbery and shooting near Woodward Avenue and Worcester Place. (WDIV)

DETROIT – Two men face a list of charges in connection to the robbery and shooting of a transgender woman Friday morning in the 17800 block of Woodward Avenue in Detroit. 

Charles Marion Brown, 21, and Jujuan Alexon Williams, 19, both are charged with assault with intent to murder in connection with the armed robbery. 

Police said at about 1:45 a.m. two men got out of a vehicle in the 17800 block of Woodward Avenue and took the 36-year-old woman's purse. One of the men, who had a rifle, shot the victim four times when she tried to flee.

According to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, Brown fired five shots from a semi-automatic rifle and Williams told the victim to drop everything and run. Three of the gunshots hit the victim. 

The victim was listed in serious condition. Police have not confirmed if she was targeted because she is transgender.

The men left in a red GMC Yukon. After a brief chase, the vehicle jumped a curb and struck a concrete barrier, police said.

Three people exited the vehicle and fled on foot, police said. Police detained one person -- Williams -- and recovered the rifle, while the two others got away. Brown was arrested on Saturday

Brown has been charged with assault with intent to commit murder, assault with intent to commit great bodily harm, armed robbery resulting in serious injury, armed robbery, fleeing and eluding, use of a firearm in connection with a felony, felon in possession of a firearm, and being a habitual offender -- second offense.
 
Williams is charged with armed robbery resulting in serious injury, armed robbery, use of a firearm in connection with a felony, felon in possession of a firearm, and being a habitual offender -- fourth offense.   

Transgender community gathers

Less than 24 hours after the shooting, many gathered in Ferndale to remember members of the transgender community who have been lost to violence.

While the woman survived the shooting, there still weren't enough candles at the vigil to honor all of the people who have died as a result of anti-transgender violence in a year.

"This year, we're honoring 487 names, and that's just one year," said Michelle Fox-Phillips, of the Gender Identity Network Alliance.

Friends of the shooting victim, who is known as "Chocolate," described her as supportive.

"When I heard that, I couldn't believe it. I live in Ferndale and it's 2 miles down the road. We can do better than this," Father Charles Blanchard of Christ the Good Shepherd church, said.

Transgender Remembrance Day is Monday.


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