Detroit man facing charges after fatally shooting neighbor while trying to stop dog attack

55-year-old woman fatally shot by neighbor during attack

Michael Lewis Williams (WDIV)
Michael Lewis Williams (WDIV)

DETROIT – A Detroit man who fatally shot his neighbor last year while trying to stop a dog mauling is facing charges.

Michael Lewis Williams, 61, was charged with careless discharge of a weapon causing injury or death in connection with the fatal shooting of Patricia Ann Cosby, 55, on Oct. 9, 2017.

Williams opened fire in an attempt to stop a dog from attacking Cosby, but the bullets hit her. 

He was arranged Friday.

What happened

Cosby was walking on Detroit's east side Monday when she was attacked by a dog and fatally shot by a neighbor who tried to help.

Police said the woman was in the middle of Goodwin Street when the dog charged at her. She called for help, and a neighbor grabbed his gun.

The neighbor tried to get the dog off her, but his shots struck the woman instead.

Medical officials performed CPR on her in the middle of the street, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the woman was dragged into the street by the dog, which neighbors described as a stray of no specific breed. She was crying for help when a friend of hers who lives nearby heard her.

"Our resident, seeing this -- he's a CPL holder -- came out of his home and engaged the dog," Detroit police Capt. Darin Szilagy said. "He fired an unknown number of shots to try to stop the attack. Unfortunately, during that action, the woman was struck."

Police said they have no doubt the man's intention was to help, not harm, the woman. But she was hit by multiple bullets.

"We have checked the area for the initial dog that caused the mauling, and we have not located it yet," Szilagy said. "We do believe that dog may have been wounded, and we have been canvassing the area to try to do due diligence to locate this animal."


About the Authors:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.