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Posted on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 8:05 a.m.

Police release name of man shot dead in West Willow

By John Counts


Police found the body of 28-year-old Brandon Wesley Charles in a car parked at a home in the 600 block of Calder Avenue in Ypsilanti Township on Tuesday night.

Courtney Sacco |

Police have released the name of the 28-year-old Ypsilanti-area man who was shot dead in the West Willow neighborhood of Ypsilanti Township Tuesday night.

Brandon Wesley Charles was found dead around 10 p.m. in the driver's seat of his vehicle, which was parked at a residence in the 600 block of Calder Avenue, police said.

Charles was shot in the torso area, said Derrick Jackson of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office.

Police received multiple 911 calls reporting the gunshots around 9:45 p.m., including a call from inside the home. Jackson said Charles did not live there.

"It's an acquaintance or a friend's house," Jackson added.

Police don't yet have a suspect. Detectives from the sheriff's office were at the homicide scene late Tuesday night and well into early Wednesday morning investigating.

"We're trying to piece it together," Jackson said.

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

There is nothing ''random'' about the killing of this young man.... West Willow has been a hot bed of trouble for close to 20 years now... The gang culture has been a fact of life in the Willow since the 80's..... I am a life long resident of Ypsi Township and believe me this culture is not likely to change soon..... The place needs remodeling with a bulldozer.... This young man died just before he was to testify in another court case... Hmmmm...oh yeah.... sounds random to me......WAKE UP PEOPLE.... It sounds like this young man was executed..


Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 3:06 a.m.

I may be mistaken, but doesn't Laurel Champion's ( president) husband own property in this neighborhood?

Michigan Man

Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 1:45 a.m.

So much violence, killing, mayhem happens in WW that more of the same is really not a story at all. What would be a unique story is for WW to have peace, non-violence and safety in their community.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 9:31 p.m.

Why?..Why do people feel the need to go out of their way to commit these crimes. So sad that they have such a useless life that they would resort to shooting people over road rage and then to think no one will figure out their the ones who killed him so he couldn't testify. We don't need these types in society. Why do they have to make society such an unsafe place to live. I feel sorry for them because they will one day have to meet a much bigger judge than the one in a court of law..this poor man didn't deserve this. So tired and sad at hearing these types of stories.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 6:22 p.m.

Why was my comment deleted?

Cole Bertsos

Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 6:26 p.m.

Unfortunately, the comment started an off-topic debate. If you have further questions, feel free to email us at


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 5:09 p.m.

This isn't likely random:


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 5:01 p.m.

Little can be said/discussed at this point about this incident, so the tendency is to lapse into tongue-clicking ("These are troubling times in the kingdom"). And then come the assumptions (matched by pronouncements about individual lack of knowledge on murder rates, etc.). It may be of interest that cities with a population over 250k have markedly higher crime rates (incl. murder rates). Then there are well-known influencing factors like low income / high unemployment. Such areas as West Willow are clearly most influenced by these latter factors. Street gangs and the violent culture they bring with them have existed in the US since at least the 1840s. The "violent culture" didn't BRING street gangs, the gang created and brought violent culture and activities. There is no real violent culture "across America" as some have concluded (and spread around). It's odd to see people wondering and speculating about Washtenaw County, saying our county "must have" a rising murder rate. Like all counties, concentration of population and pockets of economic depressing "give" the county it's homicide tally. Hence the "issue" being discussed is political, not based in objective reality.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 4:52 p.m.

The guy that was shot to deathwas about to testify in a 12/31/12 road rage incident. No, it wasn't random at all! Rest in peace Brandon, no one deserves to die like that. Victim-in-New-Year-s-Eve-road- rage-incident-found-murdered/- /1719418/18337578/-/format /rsss_2.0/-/7sp7if/-/index.html

Lisa Stevens Patterson

Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 4:26 a.m.

So true and the ones that shot him and his girlfriend on 12 - 31- 2012 I hear has been charged with murder before and was out on bond. The courts system makes you feel real safe. SAD WORLD


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 3:52 p.m.

And how sad for the decent hard-working residents of WW who have been striving to make this a better and safer place in which to live.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 2:28 p.m.

They actually have tents to keep crime scenes dry? It makes sense, I just never really thought about it.

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 7:28 p.m.

Hi Craig- From a another angle that Courtney captured there is a HVA logo on one side of the tent so I would presume it was provided by their crew.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 3:48 p.m.

Paul..." freedom of the press " has nothing to do with can publish any photos they wish.Its their call.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

'tent", "carport" in either case I assume it was set up by the police, not the residents of the house.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 3:29 p.m.

And you don't see the victim. We got "freedom of press" but we can never ever see certain things, like people who been shot and killed. It might influence public thinking and we don't wanna have that, ugh

Cory C

Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 3:20 p.m.

I imagine it's a car port.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 2:07 p.m.

One of the sad things about West Willow is that before the auto companies packed their bags and left it was actually pretty nice.A lot of blue collar auto workers lived there.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 7:41 p.m.

flyonthewall....That's interesting I didn't realize that.I was thinking about the early to mid 70's. Eyeheart......Those plants were slowly reducing employees and production over 30 years ago


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 6:36 p.m.

Not quite. Maybe a lot of blue collar workers lived there, but it was never all that nice. When I first moved here and both the Hydra-matic and Willow Run assembly plants were opened, I was warned about that place.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

"owners" not owers.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 4:53 p.m.

Our family's observation, having lived there from the mid 70's to late 80's, was that the decline of the neighborhood began when the owers bought new homes and began renting their WW homes. They were, at best, absentee landlords. We ived in the Van Buren School District portion of WW.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 3:44 p.m.

Paul....for once I have to agree with you


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 3:21 p.m.

That goes for many of the places that are now in ruins. Good paying jobs improve neighborhoods, who would had guessed.

Mr. Ed

Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

My comment was deleted because i asked how many homicides have occurred in WW since 1990?

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 1:42 p.m.

Mr. Ed your comment was not's on this story here:


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 1:33 p.m.

I'm interested in the answer to your question of "how many homicides have occurred in WW since 1990?" Perhaps another reader - or even a reporter - has that information?


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 1:18 p.m.

I wounder/hope those security cameras that non residents seem to have a problem with caught something


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 8:20 p.m.

I dont live in west willow because its too dangers.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 8:18 p.m.

IM saying if someone would do this they wouldn't even think about camera are only for ID but stop anything from happening. people in bank and even cover the face. I dont live in West Willow , I wouldn't risk it .


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 3:41 p.m.

Anti-thug...I don't quite follow you.What are you trying to say ? I didn't say anything about them preventing crime.Do you live in West Willow by chance ?.I don't know if you thumbs downed me but if you did, at least your'e not a no reply troll


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 2:48 p.m.

the cameras where going scare away shooter ....right....but shooter will risk anything.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

Doesn't sound very random.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 8:15 p.m.

trust me if it was random then they would be looking for a serial killer. random kills are rare.