DETROIT – Police revealed the identities of the two people who were killed in a shooting sparked by an argument over the way cars were parked for a birthday party in a Detroit neighborhood, as well as the ages of the six people who were injured.
The shooting happened at 2:44 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 Winston Kirtley Jr., 36, of Detroit, got upset about the way people had parked their vehicles for a birthday party directly across the street from his house.
“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.
“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.
Kirtley arrested, charged
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 was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, six counts of assault with intent to murder, two counts of discharge at a building, and 10 felony firearm violations.
He was arraigned Wednesday morning and remanded to the Wayne County Jail.
A probable cause conference is scheduled for 8:20 a.m. Aug. 18, and a preliminary examination is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. Aug. 25.
Shooting victim information
Andre Willis, Jr., 38, of Detroit, was pronounced dead from gunshot injuries at the shooting scene, authorities said.
Police announced Monday that a second person had died from her injuries. She has since been identified as Toyake Thirkeild, 39, of Detroit.
“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 six other shooting victims are a 40-year-old man, a 39-year-old woman, a 35-year-old woman, a 35-year-old man, a 32-year-old woman, and a 19-year-old man, according to officials. All six are Detroit residents.
Police said Monday that all six were recovering from their injuries. At the time, one person was in critical condition, while some others were in serious condition.
You can listen to the full DPD update on this shooting below.