Man charged with firing gun in Oakland County school zone amid fight

Altercation breaks out in parking lot of child care/educational facility

OXFORD, Mich. – A man was charged Wednesday with firing a gun in an Oakland County school zone amid an altercation with a teenager outside a child care/educational facility.

Federal charges were brought against Dartez Downs, a man in his 30s, on Monday, Oct. 3, in connection with an altercation that occurred outside of Crossroads for Youth in Oxford on Sept. 26. Downs is accused of getting into a fight with a 17-year-old in the parking of the facility, and then firing at least one gunshot.

According to a criminal complaint, Downs drove to Crossroads for Youth with a woman and an infant in the vehicle. The woman is reportedly the mother of the 17-year-old’s child.

The teenager was reportedly participating in a program at Crossroads when Downs drove the group there for a visit. When the 17-year-old learned Downs was at the facility, he went outside to the parking lot to confront him, officials said. The teen was reportedly concerned because Downs had “recently assaulted” the woman in the vehicle and she has a personal protection order filed against him, which authorities confirm.

Downs and the 17-year-old boy got into a physical fight and exchanged punches, the complaint reads. The fight was reportedly broken up by Crossroads staff, and the two males dispersed: Downs went back to the vehicle, and the teen went back inside.

The 17-year-old came back outside, however, and approached the passenger side of the vehicle. Authorities say the driver’s side window was rolled down, the driver’s side door was open and the woman was in the passenger seat of the vehicle.

The teen then began walking toward the facility when Downs is alleged to have fired at least one shot from a firearm. It does not appear that the teen was injured.

Downs then fled the scene in the vehicle, which was later pulled over by an Oakland County deputy. Officials say the woman was in the driver’s seat and Downs was in the passenger seat when the vehicle was stopped.

Police conducted a search of the vehicle and found a 9 mm handgun in the woman’s purse, which was registered to her as she is a valid CPL holder, officials said. A spent 9 mm casing was reportedly found on the floorboard behind the passenger seat.

Downs, who appears to have an extensive criminal history, was charged Monday with one count of discharging a firearm in a school zone, and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.

You can read the entire criminal complaint below.


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