LANSING, Mich. — Anthony Wright Jr. lost his 17-year-old daughter Allayah after she was shot and killed back in February, and not even a year later, Wright’s family is left grieving again, after his life was also cut short because of gun violence. He was only 36.
“Words I can’t even explain, but I am just hurt, just know that,” said Wright’s mother, Jacqueline Lewis.
Family and friends said Wright had a bright smile and personality that could light up a room. He was a barber, who used his skills with clippers to serve as a philanthropist and give back to the community.
“He would be seen many times just pulling up on random people that might be homeless and just cutting their hair. Thats just what he did, he gave back,” said Wright’s friend Marlon Beard.
Last month, police found Wright inside a vehicle wounded right outside of the South Washington Park Apartments. He was taken to the hospital, where he later died. We’re told the location where the shooting happened is no stranger to criminal activity.
“The reputation is drugs, violence, I never lived there, and I never really hung out there because of the drugs and violence,” Beard said.
In the past two years, Lansing police say they’ve taken over 500 calls from the location. We’re told in 2021, there were two non-fatal shootings at the location, and so far in 2022, there’s been three shootings, and two of them were fatal. The apartment building is owned by the Lansing Housing Commission, and Lewis believes if proper security measures were in place, her son’s death could’ve been prevented.
“The administration and landlords of apartment complexes have a liability to put in safety measures,” Lewis said.
We reached out the Lansing Housing Commission, and they said South Washington Park Apartments is being rebranded as Capitol City, and it's currently under construction.
We were also told that the location has had security cameras for years, but there are plans to spend thousands of dollars to add more. No comment was given to us about adding actual security personnel to monitor the location.
“Cameras are a huge benefit to us, they are probably one of the strongest police partnerships that we have,” said Lansing Police Assistant Chief Rob Backus.
Lansing Police Department officials said they encourage all landlords to invest in cameras because they tend to answer a lot of questions, including identifying suspects in shootings, something that has yet to be done in Wright’s case.
But Wright’s family has one positive message for his killer.
“Try to make connection with God. He’s like WiFi, when you reach for him he can connect with you and motivate you to do the right thing,” Lewis said.