Google Mapping Trucks May Have Spotted a Suspected Shooter

September 21, 2012
Google Camera Captures Man Pointing Gun From What Looks Like House Where Infant Found Dead
Google Camera Captures Man Pointing Gun From What Looks Like House Where Infant Found Dead (ABC News)

Google's effort to revamp its mapping system took an eerie turn when one of its camera trucks captured what looked like suspicious behavior in Detroit.

In September 2009, Google's camera snapped photos of a man with a gun standing on the porch of the house that is said to be where a 17-month-old was found dead last summer.

The photo shows a shirtless man pointing a gun at the street. There are four other people behind him, all gazing toward the camera.

All parties on the porch look young, perhaps in their teens. The series of photos shows how they all turn to look at the Google truck as it passes by.

A meteorologist from Maryland, Jacob Wykoff, who stumbled upon the photo on Reddit, told ABC News that he found it frightening.

"Anytime you see a gun pointed at a cameraman it gets kinda scary," he said. "Detroit kind of has a reputation nowadays for doing that kind of stuff. It wasn't that out of the ordinary."

Habitual or not, the death of the 17-month-old child still strikes a chord in the Detroit population. Police say it hasn't been determined exactly how she died, and no one has been charged in her death.

People have been speaking up on the DetroitYes forum, saying this is the house where Zyia Turner, the the young child, last June.

One person commenting had compared each house with that in the Google image and found that the photo and the alleged crime scene matched.

"Noticed some similarities. Same cream-colored brick, same tapered shape to the brick columns, same green Astroturf glued to the porch, same wrought-iron security door, same gutter security camera and the same neighbor's fence."

Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy told CBS Detroit, though, that this photo was not enough to seal the case, and that many questions still remained.

"Was it this person's home? Because you do have a right to bear arms in your home," Worthy told CBS Detroit. "Certainly, it looks like he's on a porch that's attached to a home, so that would not be a legal issue."