New Michigan bill would increase punishments for drive-by shootings

Lawmakers will introduce bipartisan bill package called Messiah’s Law

Far too often, we've seen innocent people inside homes and vehicle hit by bullets from drive-by shootings. It's tragic when a child is hurt or killed, which is why lawmakers are considering a new bill that would increase punishments in those circumstances.
Far too often, we've seen innocent people inside homes and vehicle hit by bullets from drive-by shootings. It's tragic when a child is hurt or killed, which is why lawmakers are considering a new bill that would increase punishments in those circumstances.

DETROIT – “I don’t really have sympathy for anyone who kills an innocent person, yet alone an innocent kid,” said Brian Christian.

Those were strong words from Christian. His 2-year-old son Brison Christian was shot and killed while riding in the car with his family back in June on Interstate 75. Detroit police say someone drove by the family’s car and started shooting, hitting little Brison and his older brother.

“It’s been tough for the most part. Just trying to get back to everyday life,” said the father.

It’s stories like this one that has legislators in Lansing calling for stronger consequences with those committing drive by shootings.

Representatives will introduce a bipartisan four-page bill package called Messiah’s Law that would increase punishments for drive-by shootings.

Messiah was a 3-year-old boy who was also shot and killed inside his home in Flint back in October 2020.

“I think it needs to be an assertive effort and emphasis just on those things, like you said shooting into houses and drive-by shootings in cars,” the father added.

The proposal outlines these punishments for anyone who shoots a minor while firing into a building, vehicle or crowd.

They include the following: A 30-year maximum sentence or $30,000 fine for shooting and causing any injury to a minor; A 40-year maximum sentence or $50,000 fine for shooting and causing serious impairment of bodily function to a minor.

And lastly, life without parole for shooting and causing the death of a minor.

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About the Authors:

Larry Spruill Jr. joined the Local 4 News team in January 2018. Prior, he worked at WJAX in Jacksonville, Florida. Larry grew up as a military kid because his father is a retired Chief of the United States Air Force.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.