Suspect in Detroit shooting spree charged with murder, animal torture

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office issued charges Wednesday against a man accused of gunning down four people, killing three, at random in Detroit on Sunday morning.

Dontae Ramon Smith, 19, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder; five counts of carrying a firearm while committing a felony; one count of assault with intent to murder, and a count of torturing an animal.

The dog was also shot during the shooting spree.

Smith pleaded not guilty on all charges during an arraignment hearing Wednesday afternoon. He was being held at the Wayne County Jail and was denied bond on the murder charges.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Wednesday the case will be “aggressively prosecuted.”

“It is not an overstatement to say that on Sunday morning, August 28, like a scene out of a movie this alleged defendant reigned real terror on the citizens northwest Detroit. Normal, everyday life was brought to a standstill as he moved east to his next victim,” Worthy said in a statement.

In this frame capture, Chief Magistrate Jeffrey Kleparek presides over an arraignment of Dontae Ramon Smith, 19, in 36th District Court on Aug.  31, 2022. Smith is charged with three counts of first-degree murder;  five counts of carrying a firearm while committing a felony;  one count of assault with intent to murder;  and a count of torturing an animal.

Police believe Smith may be suffering from mental illness. Smith does not appear to have a violent criminal history, according to court records.

Smith is due back in court for a probable cause hearing at 8:30 am Sept. 14 via Zoom, and an in-person preliminary exam at 1:45 pm Sept. 21.

Smith was apprehended Monday evening at his home in the 7300 block of Pembroke Avenue without further incident. His arrest followed a multi-agency manhunt led by Detroit police, with help from surveillance footage, community members and someone close to the suspect who felt police a tip.

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