Devon Robinson was eighteen years old when he opened fire on a house party in Detroit Michigan killing three people and severely injuring two. According to police the teen killer who fired twenty shots at the home targeted the residence because it was full of members of the LGBT community. Devon Robinson who was initially at the party and was reportedly taunted after he had physical contact with number of people including one of the victims a transgender woman. Devon Robinson would leave and come back a couple of hours armed, opened fire on the residence killing three people and injuring two more. Devon Robinson would be convicted on multiple counts of murder, attempted murder and assortment of other charges., Devon Robinson is to be sentenced in April 2020 and will likely receive a life sentence without parole
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Devon Kareem Robinson was only 18 when he was arrested and charged with shooting Alunte Davis, Timothy Blancher, and Paris Cameron at a house party in Detroit, Michigan. This week, at 19, he was convicted by a jury and could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Prosecutors were initially unsure if they should proceed to trial as they could not nail down Robinson’s motives, but they ultimately decided to move forward in November. Special prosecutors at Fair Michigan, a LGBTQ rights organization, joined forces with them.
After a week-long trial earlier this month, the jury returned a verdict in under two days. They voted to convict on all ten counts against Robinson: three first-degree murders, two assaults with intent to murder, and five charges of use of a firearm in connection with a felony.
Robinson’s victims were two gay men, Blancher and Davis, and a transgender woman, Cameron, all under the age of 22.
On May 25, 2019, Robinson ran into Cameron at a gas station before attending a house party with her. When he left, prosecutors alleged that Robinson returned with a black ski mask and gun, opening fire on more than 15 people in attendance.
Robinson was seen ‘dry heaving’ in security footage after leaving the party around 4:00 AM, less than an hour before the shooter arrived. Although the shooter was wearing a mask, witnesses testified to his ‘blank’ expression and noted he had light brown eyes, like Robinson.
More than 20 gunshots were reportedly fired, and one attendee testified that there was so much blood that the . Other than the three murder victims, two other people – Clifton Keys and Armon Matthews – were seriously injured.
Initially, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office believed that Robinson had deliberately targeted the victims based solely on their identity. It became clear through witness testimony and evidence, however, that Robinson had committed the killings out of internalized homophobia.
At the trial, Fair Michigan’s Jaimie Powell Horowitz led the jury through witness testimony, which described how Robinson engaged in sexual acts with multiple people at the party, including Cameron. He became enraged by people that began calling him gay, and Horowitz said that Robinson intended to murder everyone who knew about what he had done.
His DNA was found on Cameron’s body after her murder, which Robinson initially denied while talking to police.
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Police have charged a Detroit man with murdering three people — two gay men and a transgender woman — in what authorities say was an anti-gay attack over Memorial Day weekend.
Police allege that Devon Robinson, 18, shot five people inside a home on Detroit’s east side on May 25, killing Alunte Davis, 21; Timothy Blancher, 20; and Paris Cameron, 20
Cameron was a transgender woman, while Blancher and Davis were gay men.
“It is alleged that these victims were targeted and killed because they were part of the LGBTQ community,” said Maria Miller, a spokesperson for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
Robinson was charged Thursday with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of assault with intent to kill.
“The alleged actions of this defendant are disturbing on so many levels, but the fact that this happened during Pride Month adds salt into the wound,” said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy in a statement.
Erin Knott, the executive director of Equality Michigan, an organization that works to advance LGBT rights, told BuzzFeed News, “This is an example of the dangers that members of the LGBTQ community face each and every day in cities like Detroit and across the United States.
“It also exemplifies how much violence, discrimination, and harassment is experienced not just by the larger community but specifically by trans women of color,” said Knott.
Knott referred to the recent spate of murders of black trans women across the country, which she called an “unfortunate epidemic that we have not figured out a way to address.”
Last December, Kelly Stough, a 36-year-old black trans woman, was killed in Detroit. Police arrested a local pastor, who has been charged with murder, and said they believed her trans identity was a major factor in her being killed.
The Human Rights Campaign counted 26 deaths of transgender people nationally in 2018 due to violence, the majority of them black trans women.
So far in 2019, HRC has tracked eight deaths of trans people resulting from shootings or other violent methods. All of them were black trans women.
The trans community in Michigan is “experiencing and uptick of violence and fears on a daily basis,” said Knott, who said that Equality Michigan offers victim advocate services and can help victims work with authorities.
Earlier this week, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other lawmakers announced a bill to amend Michigan’s civil rights law to ban discrimination against sexual orientation or gender identity.
Discrimination cases often focus on situations such as a gay person getting fired from their job after getting married, “but it goes deeper than that,” said Knott. “People’s lives are at risk.”
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