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Detroit Noel Night shooting: Chief says shooting connected to fight at high school football game

4 teens shot near DIA during Noel Night festivities

DETROIT – Police Chief James Craig said Monday that the weekend shooting in which four teens were shot during a holiday festival in Detroit's Midtown was connected to a fight at a high school football game.

Craig said the shooting was prompted by a fight at a high school championship football game.

“At this game there was some sort of fight,” Craig said. “At Noel Night, these two groups met up and there was some pushing and shoving and then there was some gunfire.”

Craig said the fight was between two groups of students at East English Village.

A 16-year-old boy was detained Monday morning by police for questioning in connection with the shooting Saturday night. The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said it is reviewing paperwork from Detroit police for a 16-year-old suspect. The Prosecutor's Office said by statute it is taking a five-day adjournment before making a decision. A decision is expected to be made by Saturday morning. 

The shooting happened during the annual Noel Night in Midtown, an event which draws thousands of people to the city's Midtown neighborhood, near the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) at Farnsworth and John R streets.

ORIGINAL REPORT: 4 teenagers shot at Noel Night festivities

Sources say a 17-year-old girl got into a dispute with a man who opened fire. It's not clear if she knew the gunman. Three males -- a 14-,16- and 19-year-old -- were also shot. Sources say they may have been innocent bystanders.

All of the victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Witnesses told police that the shooter fired a gun at the ground, and the victims may have been hit by bullets that ricocheted off the ground.

The 45th annual Noel Night was canceled after the evening shooting. 

Craig spoke about the incident and said there was a heavy police presence, but he is re-evaluating staffing in light of the shooting.

"Certainly we don't deploy like we do say for a July Fourth fireworks celebration, so we are going to be looking at that going forward," Craig said. "Sometimes it's one incident like this that creates so much fear, but this should not be the incident that defines who we are."

Craig said there were in excess of 120 officers at the event, including Wayne State University police officers.

People flee Noel Night

Tweets from Noel Night reported a large crowd of people fleeing the area after hearing gunshots. Fights were also reported in the area of the shooting. 

Asked about police presence at Noel Night, Craig said it was "significant," though less than at Detroit's fireworks. The event may need more police next year, he said, adding officials may also need to rethink how children are left unsupervised at the event.

"One of the things we have seen here tonight (are) lots of young children here without parental supervision," Craig told Local 4. "Parents dropped their kids off, probably at the Science Museum, for a festive night. Not being critical, just saying we have to rethink, this is about public safety."

RELATED: Police presence, unsupervised kids could be reviewed at Detroit Noel Nights, Chief Craig says

Stay with Local 4 and ClickonDetroit.com for updates.


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