UPS Worker goes postal - Deadly rampage


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rick_reno
December 29, 2005, 10:46 AM
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2005512290523

A 56-year-old woman is found riddled with bullets, her body set ablaze in her northwest Detroit home.

A 23-year-old United Parcel Service worker is discovered in a pool of blood near trash bins in a Livonia Wal-Mart parking lot.

The body of a 22-year-old man turns up behind the wheel of an SUV in Redford Township, an apparent suicide.

By sunrise, police in the three communities had realized that the gruesome crime scenes -- discovered between 2 and 5:40 a.m. Wednesday -- were connected, apparently part of a shooting spree by the man found dead in the SUV.

Relatives of the victims reeled Wednesday as police offered no clear motive for the bloody rampage that left three people dead and a 14-year-old girl in critical condition from several gunshot wounds. Authorities could only speculate that 22-year-old Jamal Samuels was deeply troubled -- reportedly mentally ill -- when he shot his mother, his niece and a coworker before turning the gun on himself in another coworker's driveway.

Police said the rampage began when Samuels, a part-time UPS worker, killed his mother, Annie Samuels, with an assault rifle at their home on Edinborough in Detroit. He then turned the gun on his niece, police said, shooting her in the chest, thigh and hand.

Then Samuels doused the pair with an unknown flammable liquid, police said, and lit his mother on fire in a bedroom.

The girl, Brittney Samuels, managed to flee to a neighbor's house. She was in critical condition Wednesday evening at Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, where family members said she was undergoing several surgeries. She is expected to survive.

Confrontation in parking lot

Jamal Samuels' shooting spree didn't stop there, police said.

After he fled his mother's home in her champagne-colored 2003 GMC Envoy, police said he drove to the UPS plant in Livonia, where he waited for a coworker. Samuels had shown up for work at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday but was sent home within an hour with other part-timers who weren't needed.

Kelton (Lamarr) Kidd II, who police said was a work buddy of Samuels, ended his 2:30 a.m. shift late, clocking out about 3 a.m. Kidd's family said he had phoned his girlfriend to say he was on his way home.

He never arrived.

Instead, Samuels ambushed him, police said, shooting Kidd multiple times in the Wal-Mart parking lot where he had parked his vehicle.

A coworker in the same parking lot said he heard the gunshots about 3:10 a.m. He saw a body on the ground and said he watched as Samuels fired three or four shots. Samuels turned Kidd's body over and kicked him, said the coworker, who asked not to be identified because he was new on the job.

Kidd was dead before paramedics arrived.

Suicide in driveway

Samuels still wasn't finished, police said.

He drove to the ranch-style brick home of another coworker, Wallace Crawford Jr., on Beech Daly in Redford Township. There, Samuels shot and killed himself inside his mother's Envoy, parked in the driveway of Crawford's home.

Crawford's father, Wallace Crawford Sr., noticed the Envoy as he got ready for work as a supervisor at the William Dickerson Detention Facility in Hamtramck.

Crawford said he called Redford Township police, assuming that a stolen car had been ditched in his driveway. When police arrived, they discovered Samuels' body.

"I'm just thankful to God that he didn't try to come into my house after my son," Crawford said as police and workers from the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office pulled Samuels' body from the Envoy. Police said that might have been Samuels' plan.

"That guy was probably going to be the next victim," Detroit Police Cmdr. James Tolbert said.

Crawford said Samuels sometimes gave his 25-year-old son rides home from work. They were acquaintances, he said, but not really friends.

A mother's anguish

Emily Kidd, whose son was found dead in the Wal-Mart parking lot, said she had never heard of Samuels. Nor did she recognize him from the pictures police showed her.

She said her son, known by his middle name, Lamarr, to his friends and family, loved his job at UPS. He recently had been promoted from part-time to full-time, giving him the extra money he needed to move to a Westland apartment last month.

The Mackenzie High graduate died before he got to pay his first month's rent.

"When I talk about Lamarr, I'm always bragging," Emily Kidd said Wednesday afternoon in her Piedmont home, surrounded by Christmas decorations and family members -- including Kidd's brothers, 19-year-old Laurence Kidd and 14-year-old Michael McDonald. "I can honestly say that he was a very good kid. He never made me cry.

"Until now."

Emily Kidd first began to worry about her son when his girlfriend called at 6 a.m. to say he hadn't come home. Then she saw a news alert on television that said a UPS worker had been killed in Livonia.

Still, she was sure it wasn't her son -- until an unmarked police car pulled into her driveway about 7 a.m.

Her eyes welled when she spoke of Samuels.

"He took something from me that was mine," she said. "I'm pissed off. And don't nobody know why he did it."

Mental instability

Livonia Police Detective Sgt. Jeff Teeter said Samuels, Crawford and Kidd were friendly at work.

Samuels did not have any disciplinary problems at UPS, and coworkers knew of no bad blood among the trio, he said.

"We'd like to know why," Teeter said. "I don't know if we'll ever find out."

Family members told police that Samuels had a mental condition, possibly bipolar disorder. But Tolbert said police aren't sure what sparked the shooting spree.

"When you kill your mother, you can't be of sound mind," Tolbert said. "You're going to hurt again or kill yourself."

Still, an expert in mental illnesses said bipolar disorder alone wouldn't necessarily trigger such a violent outburst.

"Bipolar disorder is mood swings: extremely happy and extremely down," said Anatole Matulis, a doctor at St. John Hospital in Detroit.

Matulis said such a condition coupled with drug or alcohol abuse could lead to violent behavior. He said Samuels could have experienced a break with reality.

"Any drug could cause this paranoia," Matulis said.

Police said Samuels has no adult criminal record, but as a juvenile he was arrested by the Detroit Police Gang Squad for cocaine possession in October 1998, according to court records. He spent a year on probation and had to wear a home tether.

'A beautiful person'

By late morning Wednesday, the view of Samuels' home from the curb gave no indication of the turmoil that occurred there hours earlier.

Annie Samuels' older brother, Bennie, 67, of Detroit, arrived around 11:30 a.m. with cousin Gail Dent, 50, of Detroit.

"She was a beautiful person; I loved Annie," Dent said. "Annie would do anything for anyone."

She said Annie Samuels worked at Sinai-Grace Hospital.

Christopher Townsend, 35, of Detroit said he often got together with the Samuelses and others in their backyard for parties and to barbecue.

"She was not my mom, but she was like my stepmom," Townsend said, struggling to hold back tears.

He said his wife woke him early Wednesday, after getting a call about the death.

"I talked to another friend of mine who said he must have been on the edge to have done this," Townsend said of Jamal Samuels.

A neighbor, Tommie Lee Caldwell, 57, said he occasionally saw Jamal Samuels walking down the street with beer, talking loudly and acting obnoxious.

He said Jamal Samuels would sometimes argue with his mother, but added, "I didn't think it would go to that extent where he would gun her down."

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armoredman
December 29, 2005, 11:40 AM
The buzzword "assault rifle" is in this one - will be very shortly before that is plastered everywhere.
Too bad the cowardly filth took the cowards way out, and killed himself, but I guess he saved the state a lot of money.
Wait for the inevitable response from Brady Nutjobs.

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