It’s a really, really tough town.

When we were Fellows, the group traveled to Detroit on a field trip, where we sat through the morning meeting at the Free Press. Someone asked an editor how you judge the display of crime news in a metro area so far-flung and sprawling. The answer was a version of “you trust your gut,” but I also recall this response: “Heinousness plays a part.”

Well, I’ll say:

As paramedics frantically stripped 17-year-old Billie Rutledge to find the first series of bullet wounds and try to save his life, the man, now armed with a shotgun, walked up to the driveway on Omira in northern Detroit. He ordered paramedics to step aside.

With that, he leveled the shotgun at Rutledge, as the paramedics fled, and blasted the teen early Saturday morning in the top of the head.

Posted at 7:45 am in Uncategorized |

10 responses to “It’s a really, really tough town.”

  1. ashley said on June 7, 2005 at 9:58 am

    In the Mitch Albom version of this story, the gunman said to Billie “Do you feel lucky?” before he pulled the trigger.

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  2. Nance said on June 7, 2005 at 10:14 am

    Actually, as riveting as the bare facts were, I wonder why someone needed to stipulate he was shot in “the top of” his head. I mean, a shotgun blast to the head at close range — does it matter which hemisphere?

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  3. John said on June 7, 2005 at 2:12 pm

    I would guess the writer is trying to say the shooter was standing on the head end of the stretcher (shooting downwards) instead of the feet end (shooting upwards).

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  4. Jeff said on June 7, 2005 at 3:37 pm

    I love the governmentspeak, Detroit style: “optional stress leave.”

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  5. joodyb said on June 7, 2005 at 6:11 pm

    That’s interesting, John. I wouldn’t have thought of that. I liked the distinction; “top of the head” connotes a Kennedy-esque (sorry) image that says it wasn’t in the temple or eye or jawbone, or mouth, for that matter, which is not usually a target in a homicide, now that I think of it. What I got was “big mess.”

    Nance, I thought this is where you were going:

    “The 2004 murder rate was seven per 100,000 of population, far better than that of other large cities, according to the analysis. Los Angeles’s rate was 13.5 per 100,000, Chicago’s was 15.5 per 100,000 and some other cities’ rates were much worse. Detroit’s rate was 41.5 murders per 100,000 people.” today’s nyt

    Are paint chips available?

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  6. ashley said on June 7, 2005 at 8:12 pm

    Motor city? Pussies.

    New Orleans’ murder rate in 2003 was 53.1 per 100,000. Judging by the FBI’s number for this year, it is up to 56.3.

    We’re number 1!!!!!

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  7. Nance said on June 7, 2005 at 8:35 pm

    You live in Prague, you pussy. How many Czechs per 100K died at the hands of others? Huh?

    BTW, I wonder, Ashley, if you thought the same thing I did when I read that Freep story: Sounds like Omar’s in town.

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  8. ashley said on June 8, 2005 at 4:18 am

    Well…I’m “in transition”…

    I think maybe 3 Czechs were murdered all of last year, but 99473 per 100000 complained about it.

    And yes, except for the fact that the gunman was wearing a mask, I was picturing him whistling “The farmer in the dell”.

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  9. Jeff said on June 8, 2005 at 3:28 pm

    …and saying, “You come at the king, you best not miss” right before letting loose! A-Yo, Bey!

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  10. ashley said on June 8, 2005 at 7:07 pm

    “Your boy gave you up”.

    Billie, while strapped to the gurney, replied “Well, get on wif’ it Mother…”

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