Police release name of man killed in Detroit church shooting
DETROIT (AP) Police on Tuesday released the name of a man who they say was shot and killed by a pastor during a confrontation in a Detroit storefront church.
Officer Jennifer Moreno said investigators are still questioning witnesses about the killing Sunday of 26-year-old Deante Smith, who was shot several times by the pastor at the City of God church. Police say the pastor shot Smith after Smith threatened him with a brick.
Authorities have declined to publicly identify the pastor, who was questioned and released without charge and who is cooperating with the investigation.
Police say the men knew each other and had problems. Officer Keisha Beasley-Dorsey said the pastor previously filed a complaint at Smith with the department.
Smith’s sister, Deja Ward, told The Detroit News that her brother and his wife had lived at one point with the pastor. Ward added Smith had no problems with anyone.
”He never brought beef to anybody,” she said. ”He wanted closure so he could start counseling. I guess it turned out a whole other way.”
Ward said her brother had worked for a suburban Detroit manufacturing company but was suspended after having an argument with the pastor. Smith’s company offered him anger management classes, which he planned to attend after reconciling with his wife, she said.
Ward said Smith loved football and played for the Michigan Lightning, a semi-pro team. A post on the team’s Facebook page described him as ”a Founding Father of our organization” who had an ”infectious smile” and exhibited ”tenacity and skill.”