A volunteer for the community activist group Detroit 300 was shot and killed early Wednesday morning while working security at a nightclub in downtown Detroit.
Marcel Jackson, 39, was working at a club in the 400 block of Congress, near Beaubien, and was shot after evicting a man who reportedly had hit a woman in the club earlier in the evening, said Detroit 300 co-founder Angelo Henderson.
Wayne White Jr., 25, was working with Jackson at the club and said the man returned after the club closed looking for his cellphone, but they didn’t let him in because he refused to be patted down.
The man came back around 3:15 a.m., according to Detroit Police, in the passenger seat of a smoke gray Dodge Charger from about 2007 to 2009. The car circled the area a few times and returned without the passenger.
“We were paying attention to the Charger, then we heard shots from over here,” White said, explaining the shots came from a different direction about 25 feet away.
White, whose bulletproof vest stopped one bullet, said Jackson was shot in the back with the bullet entering his lung and then exiting through his neck. He died Wednesday around 6 a.m. at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
A “hard-core family man,” Jackson was married to his childhood sweetheart and was the father of six children, including a 5 1/2 -month-old daughter, said Detroit 300 spokesman Che Daniels.
Stan Shephard, Jackson’s father-in-law, said a group of about 30 relatives celebrated Father’s Day on Sunday at an Outback Steakhouse in West Bloomfield Township. Shephard said relatives are at Jackson’s west-side home providing support for the children, and his widow is handling the death as well as possible. The couple’s 17th wedding anniversary is Sunday.
“We’re trying to keep her optimistic because that’s all he was about, taking care of the family,” Shephard said. “That’s the kind of person he was.”
Leaders of the activist group said Jackson was one of the first people they called when the group needed to patrol the streets. Daniels said Jackson spent the past few days searching for the man who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl on the city’s west side.
“Just a good guy, man,” Daniels said. “He gave his all for the city of Detroit.”
Jackson was the owner of executive protection agency United Security and Urban Services, based in Southfield, and planned to start a job next month as a security officer for the federal government, Daniels said.
The Detroit 300 is a group of citizens, civic groups, organizations and businesses that have joined together to fight crime in the city’s residential neighborhoods. The organization is asking for donations on the family’s behalf. Donations can be made at Roberts Riverwalk Hotel and Residence Detroit, 1000 River Place, or by calling the Detroit 300 hotline at (313) 826-2040 or (313) 826-8662.
“This guy helped others when they’re down and out, and it’s time now to do what we can to try and help them,” Henderson said.
Detroit 300 volunteers have gathered about $5,000, and Daniels is asking area businesses to match the group’s donation. In spite of the tragedy, Shephard said he appreciates the support from the community.
“It’s a show of unity in this family and the community over here because Marcel was so widely known as a family man and always out to help somebody or to help diffuse some kind of situation,” he said. “That’s what my son-in-law was all about.”
Jackson’s funeral will be 5 p.m. Sunday at Greater Grace Temple, 23500 West Seven Mile.
The suspect is about 5-foot-7 with dark skin and was wearing a white shirt, cargo shorts and black-and-white athletic shoes when the incident occurred, Henderson said. The Detroit 300 is pleading for anybody who saw the suspect at the club, including the woman he allegedly harassed, to call police with information.
Anyone with information can call the Detroit Police Homicide Unit at (313) 596-2260 or Crime Stoppers at (800) SPEAK-UP.