DETROIT – Police are searching for man who is considered armed and dangerous after a woman and an unarmed security guard were fatally shot Tuesday night at the Phillip Sims Senior Housing complex on Dickerson Avenue in Detroit.
There was a dispute between two people at an apartment in the complex about 9:35 p.m. Tuesday. A woman in her 30s was there to visit a man in his late 60s when he threatened to harm her. Police said the man attempted to sexually assault the woman. She then fled to the lobby of the complex and the man went and got a gun.
On her way out, the woman pulled the fire alarm. Firefighters did respond and determined there was no fire.
However, gunshots were heard a short time later.
A 66-year-old woman, identified as Bernice Clark, was an innocent bystander when she was shot and killed near the building's lobby. She had moved into the complex four months ago.
Clark had been cooking and was bringing food down to a security guard when she was shot in her head. Detroit Police Chief James Craig said she was not even looking at the suspect when she was shot and killed.
Family members said Clark did not feel safe at the building and wanted to move. She has a big family including eight brothers and eight sisters.
A security guard heard what was happening and started running toward the area. That security guard was not hit by any gunfire.
However, the man shot and killed another security guard, who was not armed, at the entrance to the building. It was that security guard's first day assigned to the apartment complex. He was 50.
Search for gunman
Detroit police are looking for the gunman who they have identified as James Fleming, 69. He was last seen fleeing the area in a dark blue 2001 Chrysler Town and Country with Tennessee license plate No. 2E58Y0.
Fleming stands between 6 feet 5 and 6 feet 7 inches tall. He has a very slim build, police said, and short gray hair. He was last seen wearing all black. Again, police consider him armed and dangerous.
Chief Craig said Fleming has a lengthy criminal history and spent years in prison. Craig said Fleming is a registered sex offender who was living at the Phillip Sims complex.
"This was a random act of violence by someone who is a career criminal who lived there," said Craig.
The weapon used is a .38 caliber revolver, Craig said. Police believe the suspect reloaded the gun at least once because as many as 10 shots may have been fired.
Here is a photo of Fleming:
If anyone has seen this suspect or knows of his whereabouts they are asked to please call Detroit Police Department or Crime Stoppers at 800-SPEAK-UP.
Craig called Fleming a coward who will be caught.
"He should do himself a favor and turn himself in," said the chief.
Detroit police released this photo of the minivan: