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Detroit man accused of shooting 2 men, killing 1, because they were gay

Demetris Nelson charged with first-degree murder

DETROIT – A Detroit man is charged with first-degree murder and assault with intent to murder on suspicion of shooting two men during a robbery attempt because they were gay.

Police said Demetris Nelson, 26, used the social networking app Grindr to locate his victims, Brian Anderson, 31, and Malcolm Drake, 26, both of Detroit.

Demetris Antonio Nelson (WDIV)

Nelson is accused of shooting Anderson and Drake on Saturday during an attempted robbery, police said. Anderson was killed and Drake was critically wounded, according to medical officials.

Nelson targeted the two because they were gay, prosecutors said.

"The allegations are that social media contacts were used to target, contact, rob, fatally shoot one gay man and seriously wound another gay man," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said. "To some, this will be just another hateful and violent act in America. They will read about this case and continue to go about their day. To me, that is quite tragic."

Detroit police officers investigated the shooting from July 6 to July 8 and took Nelson into custody.

In addition to the first-degree murder and assault with intent to murder charges, Nelson has been charged with felony murder, assault with the intent to rob while armed and four felony firearms violations.

He was arraigned Friday in 36th District Court. A probable cause conference is scheduled for July 26, and a preliminary examination is scheduled for Aug. 2.