Detroit Pistons fans celebrating the team's second consecutive NBA championship turned violent today as at least seven died and several more were critically injured.
The scene in the packed downtown streets was reminiscent of 1984 when the Detroit Tigers won the World Series and the celebration got out of hand.Four of the deaths today were caused when a car plowed into pedestrians on the east side about 1:15 a.m., Detroit police Lt. Phil Foster said.
After that crash, a 9-year-old boy was pronounced dead at Children's Hospital, a 10-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl died at St. John's Hospital, and a 21-year-old man died late this morning at Detroit Receiving Hospital, Detroit police Sgt. Christopher Buck said.
Another man with broken legs was being treated at Detroit Receiving Hospital. The driver of the car remained at large.
A parking-lot shooting killed a 19-year-old man and critically injured a 25-year-old man at 2:15 a.m., Foster said.
A 4-year-old suburban Detroit child was struck and killed by a car during a street celebration in River Rouge, said Lt. David Israel of the southern suburb's police department.
"The child was excited and ran into the street," said Israel, who withheld the name pending notification of relatives.
A 21-year-old man fell from the roof of an apartment building during a celebration party and died later at Detroit Receiving, hospital spokeswoman Diane Cooper said.
Vandalism, scattered looting and other violence were reported around the Detroit area. River Rouge police arrested 28 revelers, most on disorderly conduct charges, Israel said. Detroit police had no overall arrest count.
Looters caused an estimated $15,000 in damage at Monte Carlo Market on Detroit's west side, WDIV-TV reported. Rowdies overturned one car and smashed the windows of one of the station's news vans on the city's near east side.
Robert Egan, a Mount Carmel Hospital nurse, said fights even broke out in the hospital's emergency room early this morning.
"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."
Partiers told television crews they were robbed as they stood on the streets and others said people reached into their cars, stealing such things as stereo speakers and wallets, as they tried to drive through the crowds.
"It's just a great thing for Detroit. They saw us burning the town at Tiger Stadium, now they can see us having a good time together," said Dan Crowley, 19, of suburban Detroit, referring to the destructive 1984 World Series celebration.