Family pleads for clues in Thanksgiving Day murder of 21-year-old on Detroit’s west side

‘The person who did this needs to come forward’

DETROIT – A deadly shooting on Thanksgiving morning has left a family shattered. They’re now pleading for answers and to get a killer behind bars.

Antonio Parnell Jr., was shot and killed on San Juan Drive on Detroit’s west side, and the family believes a pair of stolen dogs may have played a role in a potential motive.

The Detroit Police Department is still searching for the person who pulled the trigger and is investigating whether the stolen dogs are connected.

Parnell’s girlfriend, who wishes to stay anonymous, spoke about the moments before her longtime boyfriend was killed.

“He got dressed,” said the girlfriend. “He gave me and the baby a kiss on our forehead before he left and told us Happy Thanksgiving and how thankful he was for us.”

She says he was heading to his father’s house to pick up some hair clippers, and then 15 minutes later, she got a call from his sisters saying he was shot.

Her first instinct was to head there.

“I was the first one on the scene,” the girlfriend said. “I saw the police tape up, I saw his car, and I just saw him laying on the ground, and that was at nine o’clock in the morning, eight o’clock in the morning.”

The shooting happened two days before their son’s first birthday.

“He went to work every day,” she said. “He had a real job. He was a construction worker and a laborer. He worked 10 hours a day. He was never involved in anything illegal. He went to work, came home, and took care of his family. It’s been very hard. Every time I look at my son, I just want to bust out in tears.”

She believes Parnell’s murder could be linked to their missing one-year-old English Bulldog, Nova, and nine-month-old French Bulldog, Calley. The dogs were out two days before the shooting, but Parnell got word they were actually stolen.

Now the search is on for those dogs and his killer.

“The person who did this needs to come forward,” she said. “His family deserves that justice. His mom deserves that, his dad deserves that, his sisters deserve that, his son deserves that.”

Anyone with information should contact the Detroit Police Department or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-Speak-up.

All tips to Crime Stoppers are anonymous. Click here to submit a tip online.

Pictures of Parnell Jr., and his dogs can be found below:

A deadly shooting on Thanksgiving morning has left a family shattered. They’re now pleading for answers and to get a killer behind bars. (WDIV)
A deadly shooting on Thanksgiving morning has left a family shattered. They’re now pleading for answers and to get a killer behind bars. (WDIV)
A deadly shooting on Thanksgiving morning has left a family shattered. They’re now pleading for answers and to get a killer behind bars. (WDIV)
A deadly shooting on Thanksgiving morning has left a family shattered. They’re now pleading for answers and to get a killer behind bars. (WDIV)

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.