Christina Samuel was chatting in her parked car with an old neighborhood friend on Detroit’s east side on Christmas, just after midnight, when at least one gunman walked up on them and opened fire.
She died. Her male friend was wounded in the shooting just south of 8 Mile Road near Gratiot. Her brother gave an account of the slaying. Detroit Police did not respond to repeated calls seeking information.
Samuel was a homebody, a bookworm, a 22-year-old black woman with a promising future, who planned to head to grad school in January at Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne, Ind., where she earned a criminal justice degree last May.
“She always had her nose in the book,” said her older brother Christopher Moore, a football coach for the Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL), who works on the assembly line for Ford. “Her goal in high school was to get her degree in fours years after it took me six. She always teased me about that.”
Her murder happened three days after four teens were shot, one fatally -- Paige Stalker, 16 , of Grosse Pointe Farms.
That Dec. 22 shooting brought a storm of TV, radio and newspaper coverage. Reward offers hit $110,000 this week.
Conversely, there is no mention about the death of Samuel – not a word -- in the media until this article and an accompanying column by Darrell Dawsey.
She had been living with her mom and grandparents around Gratiot and Harper on the city's east side, waiting to return to college in Indiana in January.
Her brother says he was watching TV and saw reports on the shootings and the death of the Grosse Pointe Farms teen who attended University Liggett. He understood the media attention, but he couldn’t understand why there wasn’t a word about his sister, who wanted to pursue a career in juvenile justice.
He said he doesn’t want to play the race card. But he said “the media makes it a tragedy when someone outside the city is killed in the city. When it happens to someone living in the city, it’s no biggee."
The circumstance weren’t exactly alike. The suburban teens were parked on a side street in Detroit, near the Grosse Pointe Park border, smoking marijuana, when someone tried robbing them. They reportedly tried driving off and the robber opened fire.
In this instance, the Christina’s brother says, the friend she was meeting up with may have been affiliated with a gang and some people may have had a score to settle.
But he said his sister just wanted to catch up with an old neighborhood friend she hadn’t seen in a long time. It was only supposed to be a brief encounter before she headed home to family to get ready for the Christmas celebration.
He said it's hard to "to turn on the news and constantly see headlines about the Grosse Pointe teenager, who is innocent who lost her life" but not hear anything about his sister.
"Here it is, a week, later and not a mention of Christina.”
The funeral is Saturday.