The 29-year-old was shot in front of the mother of his children and his younger brother.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 5, 2022. It has since been updated.
Trigger warning: This article contains themes of gun violence that some readers may find distressing
Police and local news sources report that a Michigan man was severely shot in front of his family after an altercation in an elevator. According to WJBK, Ariel Harris, a 29-year-old father of two, was slain at a party late last month as a result of an argument about who should be allowed to use the elevator first: a group of ladies or another male, the alleged shooter who has been identified as Gayelon Spencer. Harris was reportedly shot by the assailant in front of his brother and the mother of his children. The Detroit Police Department made a picture of the suspect available to the public on November 28 in an appeal for information.
Harris' brother, Cameron, said in an interview with Detroit's ABC 7 that he and some officers from the Detroit Police Department drove Harris in a cop car to a nearby hospital where he later died. "I am just laying my face against my brother's face and I am saying, 'Stay up for your kids, bro. Just stay up,'" Cameron said. "Like, 'You're breathing. Just stay.' And I really thought he was going to make it." Seeing his brother get shot right before his eyes "traumatized him," he added.
Rosalind Hearst, the victim's mother, said: "My son was just being a gentleman, letting the females get on the elevator first. And you kill him because of that?" The case is still under investigation and Spencer is the target of an extensive manhunt by Detroit Police. Footage of the suspect entering an elevator while sporting a red and black leather jacket and eyewear has also been made available to the public by the police. In the footage, he appears to be clutching a bottle of alcohol.
MORE: Here's video of the suspect. Anyone with information is asked to call 313-596-2260 or 1-800-Speak-Up. pic.twitter.com/gs2fkTVzRe— Detroit Police News (@detroitpolice) November 28, 2022
Police Chief James White said during a press conference that the shooting took place overnight on Sunday, November 28, on the eighth story of a building in the Greektown district on Detroit's south side. White called the incident "absolutely ridiculous." As per The News & Observer, a "person of interest" in the killing was seen on surveillance footage, and Detroit PD is requesting anybody who recognizes him to get in touch with detectives at 313-596-2260 or 1-800-SPEAK-UP.
Harris is remembered by his loved ones as a dedicated parent, a hardworking Detroiter, and a well-known barber. He is survived by his two sons, aged 9 and 3. "He touched a lot of people [sic] hearts in many different ways," states a GoFundMe fundraiser set up to support his kids.
Hearst claimed that the gunman in the video walks back out of the elevator to see what he'd done before getting back on the elevator and going about his business seemingly unfazed. Hearst added that she wishes the suspect had a little compassion. "Turn yourself in. Turn yourself in, because you have hurt so many people," the grieving mother said.
Cover Image Source: Facebook / Rosalind Hearst