Honor Student From Detroit Is Gunned Down

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Mother: ‘Violence is just ridiculous’

Lisa Donel thought keeping a tight rein on her two boys would keep them safe.

But three doors down from their northwest Detroit home, her 15-year-old son died in a drive-by shooting Sunday.

Avondre Donel, an honor student at University High School in Ferndale, took a break from playing video games to go outside and play basketball with a boy he has known since kindergarten when the unthinkable happened at 4:50 p.m., Lisa Donel said.

“Who else’s child has to die or be gunned down in the street before somebody takes action?” she said sitting at the family’s kitchen table on Roselawn near Chicago on Monday; Her 12-year-old son, Jordan Spears, was at her side. “The violence is just ridiculous.”

Investigators had not found a reason why the neighbor’s home would have been targeted, Detroit police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens said Monday. Police, too, are searching for answers.

Witnesses gave two different descriptions of the car, so investigators have not released any additional information, Stephens said.

Lisa Donel said she thought keeping her sons relegated to playing only on their block would keep them out of harm’s way.

“I always wanted to keep them safe and secure around me, but who knew? He stepped three or four houses down and all of this,” she said. “The violence in Detroit — it just runs rampant. And it’s like no one cares. And it’s not the bad kids that’s getting it; it’s the good kids.”

A member of Triumph Church on East Grand Boulevard, Avondre sang in the children’s choir, Lisa Donel said. He had attended Cass Technical High School in Detroit before enrolling in University High this year. He had a penchant for math and science and held a 3.75 grade point average. .

Avondre was far from the quiet type, his mother said. He had a quick wit and vibrant personality. He thrived at the college prep charter school, while also being class clown.

“He would say, ‘I’m the class clown, but I’m on the honor roll,’ ” she said.

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