CLOVIS -- Stephanie Rice called
911 Monday afternoon to report that her former live-in boyfriend was trying to
break into her New Center area home in Detroit.
As she gave an operator her address and details of the
crime, her distressed voice was clipped in mid-sentence and the phone line went
dead. "She mentioned him by name," said homicide Inspector William Rice. "She
was talking, and she suddenly stopped."
Minutes later, around 2 p.m., Detroit police discovered
three bodies in the home in the 800 block of Pingree near the Lodge Freeway. Police
said Stephanie Rice's ex-boyfriend killed her and her brother, then fatally shot
himself. Police did not release the ex-boyfriend's or the brother's names.
"There is a domestic violence history here," said Inspector
Rice, who is no relation to the deceased woman. They had a very rocky relationship.
This really appears to be quite a tragedy."
Neighbors confirmed William Rice's assessment. They said
the couple often argued, and police had been called to the house numerous times.
The couple had recently broken up, and Stephanie Rice had thrown him out of the
house last week, police said.
Those who lived near her said the woman began her day
Monday like any other: She dropped her two daughters off at school. She returned,
and more than likely was tidying her home because she was a doting mother and
meticulously clean, neighbors said.
Inspector Rice said he was uncertain if the woman was
shot while on the phone or if she was forced to hang up first. At the scene, carloads
of the dead woman's family members arrived, wailing.
Some relatives had to be carried to cars. Neighbors stood
in the cold, comforting each other and shaking their heads. Most said they were
not surprised by her death because of the couple's on-again, off-again history.
Still, neighbor Beverly Clayton described Stephanie Rice as a wonderful mother
and friendly neighbor.
She said Rice grew up in the well-kept, two-story, white
and coral house on Pingree and had decided to raise her two daughters there. Detroit
police met Rice's daughters, around ages 10 and 15, at school to inform them.
"They were a good family," Clayton said. "She was very close to her kids. She
loved to be a mother."
[Editor's Note: A group of five mothers
calling themselves The
Second Amendment Sisters (S.A.S.) in an Internet chat room
started SAS in December 1999. Their first effort was the Armed Informed Mothers'
Rally and March on Mother's Day 2000, which drew approximately 5000
to the grounds of the Washington Monument and thousands more to rallies in cities
all over the United States. A new movement was born. Since then, Second Amendment
Sisters has welcomed a growing number of women and men from across the country,
all dedicated, unpaid, volunteers who passionately believe in the basic human
right of self-defense. The 2nd Amendment Sisters announced that they will
be holding self-defense rallies in California in three different cities on that
day where there will be a variety of speakers, from Legislators to Crime Survivors.
Letter to the Editor
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