West Bloomfield grandmother to be charged in grandson's shooting death

17-year-old Jonathan Hoffman shot to death Friday at home in West Bloomfield Township

By Shawn Ley - Reporter

WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Monday was the first day back to class at alternative school Farmington Central High School after one of it's students was shot to death late Friday afternoon. 

Classmates of 17-year-old Jonathan Hoffman still can't believe the news that Hoffman was killed, allegedly at the hands of his own grandmother.

Senior Anwar Davis says Hoffman was a close friend of his. Davis says he spoke to Hoffman on the phone Friday and learned of his death when a family member alerted him to turn the news on T-V. Davis called Hoffman a straight A student and a creative kid.

Counselors were on hand at Farmington Central Monday to speak with students about the loss of their friend. Davis says he expects those counselors to be busy as students "get things off their chests." Davis said.

Background information

The teen was living with his grandparents so he could stay in Farmington schools while his divorced parents settled in Arizona, said his father, Michael Hoffman, of Scottsdale, Ariz.

Jerome Sabbota, a lawyer for the grandmother, said Jonathan Hoffman had legal problems over drugs and had conflicts with his grandmother.

Sabbota said his client fired her new .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun because she felt she had no choice.

"This is a 74-year-old . lady who just bought a gun. It's not like she was a pro. I don't think she was in control of her emotions. She was afraid. She's not a big, strong woman," Sabbota said.

Regardless of what difficulties the teen gave his grandmother, there was no reason for her to shoot him, his father said.

"I'm not saying he was aggressive, but if he was, I don't understand how being aggressive but unarmed would justify her using deadly force," Michael Hoffman said.

The night before he died, Jonathan Hoffman saw the Sasha Baron Cohen movie "The Dictator" with friends, but they barely watched because they were cracking up and having a good time, the friends said.

"He was one of the funniest kids I know," said Adam Makhoul, 17, of Birmingham. "He was never violent. He always was a giving person."

The funeral is at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Ira Kaufman Chapel in Southfield.

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