College student killed outside Blackberry bar in Detroit

Victim is 21-year-old Claudia Benson

By Roger Weber - Reporter

DETROIT - Detroit police are asking for witnesses to come forward in the shooting death of a college student early Saturday morning. 

Claudia Benson, 21, was killed outside the Blackberry Bar and Grill at Grand River and Patton. Investigators said a man took her purse and shot her. 

He also took the purse of one of the victim's friends. 

Another friend looked for clues around the crime scene on Monday. He spotted a shell casing, though police say they had already recovered casings. 

 "It's just a terrible loss." said the man, who asked not to be identified. "She was a sweet young lady. Very family oriented." 

Friends said Benson graduated from Henry Ford Academy and attended Oakland Community College. The family declined to release any information. 

Employees of the Blackberry would not discuss the incident, but said street lights on Grand River had been out for four days prior to the shooting. They have brought in their own portable lights. However, as of Monday night, the street lights were working again. 

Neighbors complain that police have often had to respond to trouble around the bar.   

"It's always something at this club like every other week," said neighbor LaBarbara Karney, 18. "It's scary for me because I live here."

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