By J. PATRICK PEPPER
HEIGHTS — A fight between rival cliques from Robichaud and Inkster high schools ended in gunfire during a party last week at Moroz and Pietrowski Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7910 Hall, 4945 Beech Daly.
Police were dispatched there Jan. 29 on reports of gunshots shortly before midnight. When they arrived they found 17-year-old Demario Robertson, of Inkster, lying in the middle of the dance floor with a gunshot wound to his left buttocks.
Witnesses said the seeds of the altercation were sown hours earlier when a group of uninvited guests showed up at the hall and was denied entry. Some of the same people from the rejected group reportedly returned with 20 to 40 people shortly thereafter and wanted to fight party guests.
After a brief scuffle outside the hall, gunshots rang out. Robertson, a party guest, said he heard one shot fired and attempted to flee inside, but was hit with a second shot. The shooting caused the group of aggressors to flee.
During an interview with police at Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center, Robertson said he believes the incident is retaliation for previous fights between the two groups at a Robichaud-Inkster high school basketball game and more recently at the Skateland roller rink in Westland. He said the suspect goes by the street name “E40,” according to police.
Police said Robertson was treated and released for his injury and is expected to make a full recovery.
The party’s host told police that he didn’t know any of the assailants or who had the gun but recognized one of the people he originally denied entry to as a Robichaud student.
Police recovered two spent 9-mm casings in the street on Eton near the north parking lot of the facility. But with one of the bullets permanently lodged inside Robertson and police unable to locate the other, matching the shooter’s weapon through ballistics tests is not possible, police said. The case still is under investigation.