Community mourns death of Harper Woods educator killed in Detroit

A 34-year-old man was shot and killed in Detroit on July 8

A community is mourning the death of 34-year-old Kevin Wheeler after he was shot and killed in Detroit on July 8.

DETROIT – Friends and family mourn the death of a man was shot and killed in northwest Detroit on July 8.

Kevin Wheeler -- a 34-year-old father, brother and mentor -- was reportedly shot just 20 minutes after speaking with his fraternity brother on the phone and visiting with his father.

Officials say Wheeler was sitting at a red light in his White Jeep Cherokee at Livernois near Ewald Circle when someone approached him and fired shots into his vehicle.

“His life mattered,” said Glenn Jackson, Wheeler’s fraternity brother. “He was basically a person that could address a lot of our issues.”

Heartbroken fraternity brothers say Wheeler was finishing his masters degree in education and attending seminary school to become a preacher.

“He was loved by everyone,” Jackson said. “He was into God. He was a man of God.”

Wheeler was also described as a doting father to his 8-year-old son who is named after him.

“Every time I saw him, his son was his shadow,” said Charles Hicks, another fraternity brother of Wheeler’s. “He loved talking about his son.”

The father had a knack for helping kids and was the beloved dean of students at Harper Woods Triumph Middle School. Another role he had, and loved, was serving as an assistant varsity football coach at the school

“They loved him,” Chaka Johnson of the Harper Woods School District said. “They related to him.”

Fraternity brothers say Wheeler’s death is especially painful because it was so senseless.

“This hurts us even more because there is no reason, you can understand somebody got ill,” Hicks said. “He was minding his business.”

Wheeler’s friends are hoping the shooter realizes that they stripped a special person from their community.”

“Go look in the mirror. Think about his son. He is not going to have a father,” Jackson said to the shooter. “Think about the community he could (have) actually helped.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Wheeler’s family during this difficult time. Wheeler’s fraternity brothers say they will help make sure his son graduates high school and goes to college, fulfilling his father’s legacy.

Click here to visit the GoFundMe page set up in Wheeler’s name.

Detroit police say the shooter entered an older model of a gray sedan and fled the scene. Investigators hope to release a picture of the vehicle later this week.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Detroit Police Department.

MORE: Local News

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.