Rampaging throngs celebrating the Detroit Pistons' second NBA title in as many years turned nasty early Friday. Seven people were killed and hundreds were hurt by gunfire, stabbings and fighting.
Looting and raucous behavior led to dozens of arrests after fans jammed city and suburban streets to mark Detroit's last-second 92-90 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers."It's been a madhouse down here," said police officer John Leavens.
Four people were killed and one person was injured when a car plowed into pedestrians on the city's east side at 1:15 a.m. Friday. Police arrested a 41-year-old man and confiscated his car 10 hours later.
Two other pedestrians were killed by cars in separate celebration-related accidents. A 21-year-old reveler was killed when he fell from an apartment roof.
A parking-lot shooting killed a 19-year-old man and critically injured a 25-year-old man at 2:15 a.m., but Leavens said that stemmed from an argument that appeared unrelated to the post-victory outbursts.
Not long after Detroit's victory, which gave the Pistons a 4-1 win in the National Basketball Association championship, fans rushed from their homes to dance in the streets and on car roofs. They waved fists and shirts, tossing and dribbling basketballs.
But the merriment quickly turned ugly. Robert Egan, a Mount Carmel Hospital nurse, said fights even broke out in the hospital's emergency room early Friday.
"We were running around like crazy. We registered something like 20 gunshot wounds between midnight and 4 a.m.," Egan said. "It was ridiculous. In my three years here, I've never seen anything like this."
The mob violence was reminiscent of 1984 when the Detroit Tigers won the World Series. More than 100,000 people poured into the streets, overturning cars, looting and causing widespread damage. One person died.