A disagreement over a car trade lead to gunfire on Bertha St. in Ferndale Monday night (03/28/11) at about 9:15 p.m.
Officers responded to the 1300 Block of Bertha on reports of a fight in progress. Just before officers arrived a 911 caller reported that shots had been fired and that suspects were fleeing towards 8 Mile road.
One officer arrived to the scene and found a 50 year old male resident of Bertha holding a metal pipe and standing in the street in front of his house. Other officers found two men in the median of 8 Mile near Pinecrest. The officers found that both men (brothers) had .40 caliber pistols and took the men into custody. One of the men had a gun that was recently fired and he said that he shot in self defense after the resident on Bertha shot at him with a shotgun. After investigation, one of the brothers was released and the other (JAMES THOMAS MORRIS) held to face criminal charges.
The incident was a result of a car trade that went bad. The resident on Bertha had traded cars the day before with the 17 year old brother of Morris. The 17 year old and his mother contacted Morris to say they wanted to undo the trade. The parties disagreed about undoing the deal. The 17 year old and his friend then drove to Bertha in the car they wanted to return. His mother and brothers followed in another vehicle. They parked the vehicles across from the Bertha home. The man came out of his house and there was yelling between him and the people in the cars. Eventually the 50 year old man walked down near the street and the arguing continued. During the argument, Morris fired two rounds at the man, but missed. All of the people that drove to Bertha ran away on foot, except for the mother who drove off in her vehicle.
NOTE: The above statement is from The Ferndale Police Department. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.