Lansing saw more homicides in 2020 than it has for decades: 21 killings and still no arrests in five of them.
For Miranda Hinton, that hits close to home. Her 32-year-old son, Marcus Jackson-Burton, was shot and killed in August. Losing him has been the hardest thing she’s had to endure.
“It’s a pain like no other,” Hinton said.
Jackson-Burton and his brother, Steven Jackson, stopped at a restaurant on the city’s south side to grab dinner on Aug. 3, family members say. Moments later, both brothers were shot. They died from their injuries.
While Jackson was not Hinton’s biological son, she still feels pain that stemmed from his passing.
“I wasn’t his biological mother, but I was still his mom,” she said.
Jackson-Burton was visiting from Texas and had dropped off his 4 young kids to their mom’s house right before the shooting.
“He hadn’t been in Lansing for more than an hour,” Hinton said.
The sudden act of violence has left her heartbroken. What keeps her going are fun memories she had with her outgoing son who had aspirations of making it big as a comedian.
“He did a few shows here, he did shows in Ann Arbor, and in Chicago,” Hinton said. “He was on his way.”
Within a couple of days, police arrested a suspect in connection to the shoot. Hinton is thankful to the Lansing Police Department because the arrest gave her family a little closure.
“Probably the worst part of my job is contacting a family who have lost a love one to violence in the city,” said Lansing Police Chief Daryl Green. “But, being able to help them is rewarding.”
But the city has been losing a lot of people to violence.
“21 homicides in the city of Lansing, that’s not what we’re about,” Green said.
When asked why there were more homicides in 2020, Green said only that it’s been a tough year with COVID-19 and other national incidents like violent protests.
He also said in 90 percent of Lansing homicides, the victim knew the suspect.
"I call them beefs and then it would go to somewhere else and people would start shooting at each other," Green said.
Police hope the number will be lower in the coming year.
However, family members like Hinton are left reciting words she wishes she should could have said to her son and his brother.
“I love you, I am proud of you,” Hinton said. “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you guys.”
If you have any information about a homicide in Lansing, you’re asked to call the Lansing Police Department at (517) 483-4600.