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Detroit family gets much-needed answers from police about loved one’s death

Police say manner of death is not yet finalized

A distraught Detroit family reached out to the Local 4 Defenders about the troubling shooting of Deonta Thomas.
A distraught Detroit family reached out to the Local 4 Defenders about the troubling shooting of Deonta Thomas.

DETROIT – A distraught Detroit family reached out to the Local 4 Defenders about the troubling shooting of Deonta Thomas.

Deonta Thomas, 25, died of a gunshot wound to his thigh on Aug. 29. The bullet struck an artery. Someone drove Thomas, in his own truck, to Sinai Grace Hospital and walked away. His family still has questions.

“I am going to fight and I am going to get him justice,” Thomas’ sister, Shawnika Ivory, said.

Ivory said she is heartbroken over her brother’s death. She is asking the Detroit police homicide investigators to keep investigating.

Thomas was shot near Woodingham Drive and Puritan Avenue. Ivory said an ambulance was not called when her brother was shot. Instead, friends drove Thomas, in his own truck, to the Sinai Grace Hospital and left him there.

“They dropped him off at the front door. Left. Took his phone and laid the case down. Why would you take the phone and lay the case down? Why?” Ivory said.

The Local 4 Defenders asked Detroit police investigators to take a closer look at the case. The family said they were told Thomas took his own life, something they cannot accept.

Police said the manner of death is not yet finalized, but the evidence collected supports an accidental shooting. They said there was no intent for Thomas to shoot himself.

Investigators said Thomas had his handgun in his pocket and police said it discharged accidentally. There was no intent for Thomas to shoot himself. Some of his personal items were missing, but police said people he was with that night recovered the items and voluntarily turned them in.

Ivory wants more people to come forward with information and wants the police to listen. To her, nothing about her brother’s death indicates that he took his own life.

Read: More Detroit crime coverage


About the Authors:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.