DETROIT – Two men who were wearing GPS tethers that recorded their exact locations carjacked three people at gunpoint in separate locations around Detroit, officials said.
Harper Avenue liquor store carjacking
Police said the first carjacking happened around 11 p.m. Sept. 29 outside a liquor store on Harper Avenue in Detroit.
A man had parked his 2019 Chevrolet Equinox in the parking lot of the liquor store and went to sleep in the driver’s seat, according to court records.
Authorities accuse Seandre Lamarr Braxton and Damario Lashun Howell of approaching the car while the man was asleep.
Officials said Braxton and Howell told the man to “get the f*** out of the car,” pointed handguns at him and pulled him out. Howell got into the driver’s seat while pointing a gun at the man and drove off, according to court records. Braxton walked away from the scene, police said.
Here are surveillance pictures of the first carjacking incident:
Jefferson Avenue gas station carjacking
Another man drove to the Citgo gas station on East Jefferson Avenue at 7:41 p.m. Oct. 1, went inside to prepay and then started pumping gas into his relative’s 2019 Dodge Journey, according to authorities.
When the man went back toward the gas station store a second time, Braxton walked out, pointed a handgun at him and said, “Run your pockets. Give me all that s***,” court records show.
Officials said the man cooperated with Braxton’s demands and noticed that Howell had also pulled out a handgun and pointed it at him.
After the man gave up his money and other items from his pockets, Braxton told him to “give me your f****** car keys,” according to the criminal complaint.
Police said Braxton took the keys. Braxton and Howell split up, with one of them driving off in the man’s Journey and the other in a gray Chevrolet Impala with no license plate, authorities said.
McNichols Road dollar store carjacking
Around 8:30 p.m. Oct. 1, a man and his two cousins were at the Family Dollar store on West McNichols Road in Detroit, police said.
When the three had finished stopping, the man’s cousins got into his 2019 Dodge Challenger while he knelt down to fix the back license plate, according to authorities. The criminal complaint says the license plate had lost a screw.
The man heard a car screech up to him and someone said, “Don’t move,” court records say. He stood up and say Braxton pointing a pistol at his head, police said.
Braxton told the man, “You know what this is” and demanded his gold neck chains and money, according to officials.
The man surrendered his chains but told Braxton that he didn’t have any money, authorities said.
Officials said Braxton asked the man who else was in the Challenger and made the cousins get out.
The man said the person driving the car Braxton had arrived in -- a gray Dodge Journey -- was pointing a gun at his cousins over the roof of the car, according to police. This person was later identified as Howell, officials said.
At some point, Braxton told Howell to get out of the car and rob the man and his cousins, the criminal complaint says. Braxton later asked the man what else he had in his pockets, and the man said he didn’t have anything except his car keys, authorities said.
Braxton demanded the keys and told the man, “I should kill you all, m************, for not having nothing,” according to police.
Officials said Braxton got into the Challenger and drove off, following Howell in the Journey.
Police chase, arrest both men
Detroit police officers said they saw the gray Dodge Journey on East Outer Drive about five minutes after the third carjacking incident.
They tried to stop the Journey, but it sped off, sparking a chase, officials said.
The driver of the Journey got out at the intersection of Stotter Street and Savage Avenue on Detroit’s east side and jumped into the stolen Challenger, according to authorities.
Detroit officers saw the Challenger leaving a gas station on Van Dyke Avenue around 2 a.m. Oct. 2 and traveling at a high speed, they said.
Several vehicles from the Detroit Police Department and a Michigan State Police helicopter followed the Challenger, court records show.
The Challenger crashed during the pursuit at the intersection of Fairmount Drive and Queen Street on Detroit’s east side, Detroit police said. Braxton and Howell fled on foot, according to officials.
Both men were taken into custody minutes later after a short foot chase, police said.
Officers searched the Challenger and found a black Glock model 20 handgun loaded with 15 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber, they said. Two additional magazines for the gun were found in the car -- one loaded with two rounds, court records show.
GPS tether details
Braxton and Howell were identified out of live lineups by the carjacking victim from the Citgo gas station, officials said.
Both men were on probation and wearing GPS tethers at the time of the three carjacking incidents, officials said.
Braxton’s tether reported his location every minute, and Howell’s tether reported his location every five minutes, according to the criminal complaint.
When officials reviewed Braxton’s tether report, it revealed he was at the location of the first carjacking on Harper Avenue at 11:42 p.m., court records show. Howell’s tether reported his location as being about a half-mile away from that spot one minute later, officials said.
Four minutes before the second carjacking on Jefferson Avenue, at 7:37 p.m. Oct. 1, Braxton’s tether reported his location as being 120 feet from the gas station, according to authorities. Howell’s tether showed he was about 1,000 feet from the location at 7:39 p.m., police said.
Braxton’s tether reported he was at the exact location of the West McNichols carjacking at 8:34 p.m. Oct. 1, the criminal complaint says. Howell’s tether reported he was at that location at 8:35 p.m., the complaint shows.
Police interviewed Howell on Oct. 3, and he confessed to being involved in all three carjacking incidents, officials said.
Howell told authorities that he was urged to participate in the crimes by Braxton and said Braxton took the lead during each incident, according to court records. He said Braxton kept all the money and possessions that were taken from the victims, police said.
Officials said Howell confessed to receiving the gun he used from Braxton. He told them he had brandished the gun in each of the three carjackings, according to authorities.
Howell told police that Braxton often carried the Glock that had been recovered at the crash scene, officials said.
Records showed Braxton had pleaded guilty on Sept. 6, 2016, to felony receiving and concealing stolen property in Michigan’s Third Circuit Court, according to police.
On March 4, 2021, Braxton was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, and on July 29, 2021, he was bound over for trial in Michigan’s Third Circuit Court, officials said.
Braxton is charged with carjacking, use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and felon in possession of a firearm.
Howell is charged with carjacking and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.