DETROIT — Beneath a multi-colored quilt of Disney cartoon characters, 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones lay peacefully on the living room couch of her grandmother’s first-floor flat on Detroit’s east side.
Mertilla Jones lay at the other end, having recently put the girl to sleep.
Within seconds — maybe as few as three — a stun grenade smashed through a window, exploding over the couch. Armed, black-clad and masked police officers swarmed into the living room and, moments later, Aiyana lay bleeding to death with a gunshot wound to her head.
“As soon as they came in, their guns were just pointing right there, and he pulled the trigger,” Aiyana’s grandmother, Mertilla Jones said Monday of Joseph Weekley during the Detroit police officer’s involuntary manslaughter trial in Wayne County Circuit Court.
“I seen the light leave out of her eyes and the blood started gushing out her mouth and she was dead,” testified the 50-year-old Jones, who then broke into tears.
For members of the Detroit police special response team, the May 2010 nighttime raid on the two-family flat on Lillibridge was one of hundreds they had taken part in as a unit. This time they were being shadowed by a crew from the reality TV show, “The First 48.”
Armed with an MP5 submachine gun and behind a shield, team veteran Weekley was selected as point man for the operation — tasked with being first into the home in search of murder suspect, Chauncey Owens.