Authorities go door-to-door for information on double homicide in Flint
FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Flint police, Michigan State Police, Crime Stoppers and community members went door-to-door in a Flint neighborhood on Thursday to develop leads in Sunday’s double homicide.
Around 3 a.m. Sunday, police say three people were shot while driving away from a party near the intersection of East York and Industrial avenues. Two of them died and the third suffered critical injuries.
Without any strong leads four days later, police came to the scene to ask for help.
“By contacting community members in the light of day alongside their neighbors, investigators hope to bridge the gap and build better communities together by holding violent criminals accountable,” said Michigan State Police Lt. Kim Vetter.
This effort is called the Flint Safe Neighborhood Initiative. The case’s lead detective briefed fellow officers and volunteers before the group distributed flyers either directly to homeowners or on their doors if they’re not home.
“It is a plea, it is a cry. We can’t be everywhere all the time, but there are eyes out there that may witness something that will help us, and that’s what we’re all about today,” said Flint Police Department Det. Sgt. Tyrone Booth.
Police identified the victims who died as cousins -- 28-year-old Jarelle Stewart and 32-year-old Samantha Stewart. They were in separate vehicles when they were shot early Sunday.
Investigators are asking for any information about anything someone may have seen early Sunday.
“It could be the color of a car, the time frame that shots were heard -- anything that individuals want to tell us we can use,” Booth said.
The neighborhood could share tips with police while they were knocking on doors or call Crime Stoppers to report information or submit photos or videos anonymously using a number on the flyer.
“Think about it. There was a block party, everybody’s got their cell phones out and no one is going to know where that tip came in from,” said Julie Lopez, director of Crime Stoppers for Flint and Genesee County. “But if they could provide that kind of information that can help open this case wide open.”
Using geo-fencing, Crime Stoppers is also connecting with any cell phone user when they’re in a mile radius from the scene. Over the next two weeks, the ads in a user’s apps while in that area will show the victim’s faces and ask for tips.
Police say the door-to-door effort will continue not only when they need help in a recent shooting or homicide. They’ll be using this initiative to help with cold cases too.
Anyone who wants to volunteer should contact their neighborhood association, as police are working directly with those groups.
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