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27-year-old Mary Spears (Photo Courtesy of Facebook)

A Detroit family is mourning the loss of a 27-year-old mother of three who was gunned down outside an American Legion Post for refusing the sexual advances of an older man.

According to reports, the 38-year-old man allegedly shot Mary Spears once in the head then shot into a crowd, wounding five of Spears’ family members who were at the American Legion with her.

The incident occurred on the east side of Detroit during the early hours of Oct. 5. Spears’ mother Gloria told Fox affiliate WJBK that the man who killed her daughter had been unsuccessfully approaching many women at the Post before turning his attention to Spears.

“She kept turning down his advances and I guess rejection wasn’t good enough for him,” Gloria Spears told the television station.

Police apprehended the suspect, who attempted to flee on foot, and recovered the murder weapon according to The Detroit Free Press.

The senseless killing came at a time when the nation is acutely focused on the interrelated problems of domestic violence and violence against women in the aftermath of a number of high-profile incidents involving NFL athletes.

In Baltimore, where former NFL running back Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely after a video surfaced of him punching out his then fiancée, the Baltimore Police Department recently held a Twitter town hall on domestic violence and shared the following troubling statistics:

Almost 25 percent of women, and just over 10 percent of men, nationwide report experiencing violence by an intimate partner;

Intimate partner violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime;

Girls and women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence.

On Oct. 6, a gofundme.com page was created to raise funds for Spears’ unexpected funeral. On Oct. 9, a message on the site indicated that the fundraiser had been successful, raising its stated goal of $6,000. According to the page, Spears’s funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Oct. 15, at Detroit’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church.


ralejandro@afro.com