Highland Park — A grandmother allegedly attacked a woman with an ax Monday and then held the police at bay for four hours with the bleeding victim and her toddler son still inside the house.
Milah Perry, 26, of Detroit eventually died from multiple ax blows, police said. Friends say she was the mother of two children, a student at Wayne County Community College and the former girlfriend of the alleged attacker’s son.
The grandmother, whose name wasn’t released, was taken into police custody.
“I can’t believe it,” said neighbor Jeremy Brown. “It’s a nightmare.”
The attack took place on Candler Street, near Woodward Avenue and McNichols Road. Neighbors were alerted to the bludgeoning shortly before noon on Monday when they heard screams.
Ernest Jones, who lives across the street from the two-story, light blue wooden frame house, was let into the home by the attacker’s daughter in the midst of the attack. He saw overturned furniture and a blood trail that led from the second floor through the front room to the basement stairs. In the kitchen, he also saw puddles of blood and a blood-covered body part.
“It was an unbelievable scene,” said Jones.
At the bottom of the basement stairs, Jones saw the grandmother, ax cocked, standing over Perry’s bleeding body.
Perry opened her eyes, Jones said, and moaned, “Help me. Help me.”
Jones and others said Perry’s 3-year-old was in the basement.
But he wasn’t crying, Jones said, and the grandmother said she wasn’t going to hurt him.
When Jones tried to negotiate with her about Perry, he said the grandmother said, “Don’t come here or I’ll chop her head off.”
He fled the house shouting for someone to call 911.
Soon after, police arrived and the grandmother barricaded herself and the toddler in the house for four hours, according to Highland Park Police Detective Sgt. Herb Fluker.
A chaplain with the Highland Park Police led neighbors in group prayer during the standoff.
In late afternoon the grandmother surrendered and was taken into custody.