DETROIT – A man has been charged with killing two people and injuring six others in a shooting sparked by an argument over the way cars were parked for a birthday party in a Detroit neighborhood, officials said.
Officials said Winston Kirtley Jr. is facing two counts of murder, six counts of assault with intent to murder, two counts of discharge at a building, and 10 felony firearm violations.
The shooting happened around 2:40 a.m. Sunday (July 31) in the 11600 block of Coyle Street, near Plymouth Road on Detroit’s west side, according to authorities.
Detroit police Chief James White said Kirtley got upset about the way people had parked their vehicles for a birthday party at the home directly across the street.
“This was a birthday party where people were parked all around the home, and our suspect became upset by where the vehicles were placed,” White said. “My understanding is that perhaps one of the vehicles was blocking the driveway.”
Police said the parking situation sparked a dispute that ultimately led to Kirtley firing multiple shots from what officials called a “high-powered rifle.” Gunshots were fired from both the first and second floors of the home, authorities said.
Eight people were struck by gunfire, police said. Andre Willis, Jr., 38, was pronounced dead at the scene, and a 39-year-old woman died from her injuries Monday, according to officials.
“It’s incredibly sad that two families have to bury their loved ones who were killed over a minor dispute by someone who had no respect for the lives of others,” White said. “Thankfully, our officers were able to take this suspect into custody before anyone else was hurt, but this shooting never should have happened. We need every business, every faith-based organization, every school and every Detroiter to step up and work together to put an end to the violence we’re seeing.”
The other six people are recovering from their injuries, White said. As of Monday, one person was in critical condition, and some others were in serious condition, he said.
Most of the gunshot victims are in their 30s, but one 19-year-old was shot, Detroit police Cmdr. Michael McGinnis said.
“Instead of contacting the police department, instead of notifying the NPOs, which we have to handle such matters, he decided to take matters into his own hands, engaging them, and ultimately shooting up the home, striking our eight victims, and again, two of them are sadly deceased,” White said.
Police said officers entered Kirtley’s home, and he was inside in the dark. He has a military background and had placed weapons around the home so he could access them if engaged, White said.
Once police identified Kirtley and made contact with him, he gave himself up and was taken into custody without incident, according to authorities.
Police said they recovered 11 weapons from strategic locations throughout the home.
“Eleven weapons were strategically placed throughout the home, so as he moved through the home, he would have access to these weapons,” White said.
Kirtley is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.
You can listen to the full DPD update on this shooting below.