Armed Bystander Stops 4th Death After Drawing Gun, Firing: 'Scattered Like a Jack Rabbit'


A gun barked death on a Detroit street, and only one thing stopped the hail of bullets — another guy with a gun returning fire.

Dontae Ramon Smith, 19, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder as well as assault and firearms charges associated with the deaths of three Detroit residents Sunday in a shooting spree that left the final victim wounded, according to the Detroit News.

The shootings, apparently random, took place over a two-hour period on Sunday, according to The Associated Press.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said the shootings and the 10-hour search that followed terrorized the community.

“It is not an overstatement to say this defendant reigned real terror on the citizens of northwest Detroit,” she said. “Normal, everyday life was brought to a standstill.”

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John Palik, 76, was the last person shot in the spree.

He and his dog were hit, but survived because by then the gunman had other things to worry about.

“He saw my weapon and he went from predator to prey. He had that look of shock,” said a neighbor who fired to protect Palik, according to WXYZ-TV, which did not use the man’s name.

“The neighbor, he fired a shot and the guy turned around and took off. He scattered like a jack rabbit,” witness Wallace Pleasant said.

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“If he didn’t he would have walked up on him and shot him multiple times, like he did the other victims that morning,” Kaia Maxey-Gholson, a neighbor who witnessed the shooting, said.

Palik said he and his pit bull, Kingston, had been out walking when they met Smith. Smith’s actions made Palik focus on him to the point where Smith approached Palik.

Palik said he turned tail and heard what he thought then were firecrackers but now knows were gunshots.

The pit bull went down. Palik tried to help him, heard more shots and saw blood coming from one thigh.

His neighbors then came to rescue, with one firing at Smith and others tending to Palik.

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“They are unbelievable,” he said about residents. “If not for them, I wouldn’t be here. It’s as simple as that.”

Not everyone was so lucky.

Lari Brisco, a mother of five, was shot to death at a bus stop earlier Sunday as part of the spree.

“For those who have been coming to my office, Lari Brisco is the smiling receptionist who greets you and asks about your day. We are deeply saddened to announce she was killed in a random and senseless act of violence that made local and national news,” Dr. Kathleen Dass, her employer, posted on Facebook, according to WXYZ.

“She was someone I thought would be in our office until she retired. She brought so much joy to my life, to my family’s life, to our patients’ lives. And I think they are all going to be impacted by her loss,” Dass said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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