3rd Michigan Shooting Victim Dies

DETROIT SHOOTINGS CBS

A third woman has died of injuries from a shooting at a senior citizens complex in the Detroit area. It means another murder charge will likely be filed against the jailed gunman, an investigator said.

Mary Parsley, 55, died at 12:30 p.m. local time Friday at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, spokeswoman Meredith Meyer said. She had been in critical condition since being shot several times in the gunfire Tuesday at Lincoln Park Tower.

Two other women—Marilyn Higgins, 48, a former Lincoln Park City Council member, and Alvita King, 70, a tenant of the complex—died Tuesday.

Police say Kenneth Ray Miller, 56, opened fire after a meeting with housing officials to discuss allegations he used vulgar language.

Miller was to be arraigned Friday on 13 felony counts, including two counts of murder and six counts of assault with intent to murder. But it was delayed until Monday because Miller said he didn't understand the charges.

“I committed assault, but no, I did not intend to kill anybody,” Miller told the judge Thursday.

Given Parsley's death, Miller “of course” should expect to be charged with an additional murder count, Lincoln Park police Lt. Don Gentner said Friday.

Wayne County assistant prosecutor James Gonzalez, who is handling the case, could not be reached for comment because of Good Friday.

King was a neighbor who complained to building officials about the bad language Miller allegedly used. Higgins, a 48-year-old former city councilwoman, was at the building delivering donated food to needy senior citizens when the shooting began.

Higgins' daughter, Kerri Martin, says her mother was shot while trying to defuse the crisis, which began after a tenant meeting to discuss complaints about Miller's behavior.

"She tried to tell him to put down the gun," says Martin. "My mother would have gone the distance to try to help." The pleas went unheeded and Higgins was shot in the head and chest, in plain sight of her husband.

Marilyn Higgins


Authorities say the shootings began shortly before noon Tuesday, with Miller eventually retreating to his 14th floor apartment in the Lincoln Park Senior Tower, where he allegedly fired out his window at police surrounding the area.

Lincoln Park police Lieutenant Donald Gentner says police began negotiations and a SWAT team entered the apartment at 3:15 p.m., where they found Miller on his back, asleep. "You could hear his snoring, actually," says Gentner. A .22-caliber rifle that police believe was used in the shooting was confiscated.

The Detroit Free Press quotes Housing Commission Deputy Director Phyllis McLenon as saying that Miller wrote on his application for subsidized housing that he suffered from schizophreia and was on anti-depressant medication.

One resident of the apartment building, 80-year-old Orville Stingley, was shocked at learning the identity of the accused gunman. "To me, it's a bunch of baloney...To me, he's always been a nice guy. I never even heard him swear."

Grief counselors are working with witnesses to the shooting to help them cope with the experience. "We're all reeling from it, but we're pulling together as a community," says Mayor Craig Sochocki. "Our sympathies go out to the victims and their families and the community at large."

Sochocki, like many others in Lincoln Park, personally knew the former councilwoman, Higgins, who was known to her friends as Lynn. "I'm still numb and I think most of our community is numb. Everyone who knew Lynn is missing her today. We're feeling very sorrowful for her family and the other victims."

Miller is originally from Tennessee and at one time headed up a country music group called the Kenny Miller Band. Relatives say he has been living at Lincoln Park Senior Tower for about a year.

The building houses both senior citizens and individuals receiving government housing assistance.


CBS Worldwide Inc., All Rights Reserved. Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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