Man charged in racist vandalism of suburban Detroit home
WARREN, Mich. (AP) — A 24-year-old white man has been charged with ethnic intimidation and other counts for firing shots into the home of a Black suburban Detroit family who put a Black Lives Matter sign in their front window, police said Wednesday.
Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said at a news conference that the man lives with his parents in the neighborhood and that he confessed to the shooting and acts of vandalism targeting that family, as well as writing “pedophile” on a garage door a few blocks away.
“Clearly, they got the bad guy and the bad guy in this case was a racist terrorist,” Warren Mayor James Fouts said Wednesday while lauding police efforts in the case. “In this city, we do not tolerate any type of crime, but particularly racist terrorism. Make no mistake about it, this was a racist terrorist.”
On Sept. 7, shots were fired at Eddie and Candace Hall’s home in Warren.
Two days later, someone painted a swastika on one of their vehicles, slashed the tires and threw a large stone through their front window. Outside, they discovered the swastika and found that someone had written “terrorist Black Lives Matter,” “not welcome” and a phrase containing an expletive on their pickup truck.
The following day, someone fired a bullet through the Halls’ front window and police found six shell casings outside the house.
Home surveillance video shows a masked and hooded man carrying what appears to be a handgun outside the home.
The man arrested Tuesday told investigators he found the gun in his parents’ garage, Dwyer said. Police continued to search for that weapon.
Dwyer would not discuss a motive and didn’t name the suspect, but said he does not personally know the Halls. The suspect remained jailed Wednesday and will be arraigned Thursday on eight felonies and one misdemeanor, Dwyer said.
Other charges include using a firearm during a felony, discharging a weapon at a building and malicious destruction of property. A confidential informant helped lead investigators to the suspect, Dwyer said.
Eddie Hall, 52, said his family has lived in Warren for about six years. The family has not removed the Black Lives Matter sign.
“Right now, the Black lives are being targeting,” said Candace Hall, 55. “We put the sign up because we matter, too.”
She said other neighbors have been a source of comfort.
“Hate brings no good to anyone,” she said. “We hate no one. We live in a neighborhood that’s really diverse. We love our neighbors. Our neighbors love us. All of our neighbors surrounded us with encouragement and love.”
“This guy went too far,” Hall continued. “You might not believe what I believe, but you went way too far. I forgive him for his acts of hate, but love always overcomes any type of hate.”