Suspect in shooting deaths due in court Tuesday

Joseph Alan Bigelow


Brittany Burrell

Photo courtesy of the Lincoln Park Police Department


Dwight Osborn, 55, of Melvindale, was shot about 10:30 p.m. Feb. 4 while walking to work near Montie and Dix-Toledo. He died Feb. 7 at Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center in Dearborn.

By TOM TIGANI
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — A 20-year-old resident remains in Wayne County Jail in connection with two shooting deaths this month.

Joseph Alan Bigelow faces two counts of felony murder in the killings of 17-year-old Brittany Burrell of Redford Township and Dwight Osborn, 55, of Melvindale.

Burrell was shot about 1 a.m. Feb. 10 as she sat in the passenger seat of a friend’s van parked at L’il Easy bar, 978 Dix-Toledo Road. Osborn was shot about 10:30 p.m. Feb. 4 while walking to work near Montie and Dix-Toledo.

Burrell was inside a van belonging to a 23-year-old Detroit man, who police believe allowed Bigelow to enter through its rear sliding door. The man also was shot, and police believe Bigelow tried to kill him.

Police also believe the driver of van and Bigelow knew each other, Chief Thomas Karnes said Thursday, though they don’t know if the two men were called to that location.

“They could be meeting for any number of reasons,” Karnes said, “But we believe (Bigelow) getting into the van was not a surprise to the driver.”

Osborn was killed after being approached from behind by two people and shot at twice by Bigelow, police said. One of the shots passed through Osborn’s jacket; the other struck him at the base of his spine.

Osborn died Feb. 7 at Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center in Dearborn.

His shooting was captured on video surveillance by the system at Actron Alarm Co. Karnes cited the company’s cooperation in allowing police to review the tape as a key to making an arrest, noting that representatives responded immediately to an officers’ request to see the tape.

It shows Osborn fleeing from two men and then being shot in the back. The men fled the scene after he fell to the ground.

“If it happened any other place, we wouldn’t have known there were two people involved,” Karnes said.

The van containing Burrell and the Detroit man was parked about a block north of where Osborn was shot. Police said Bigelow allegedly shot the man after being allowed inside the van, exited out the driver’s-side door and then turned and allegedly shot Burrell in the head.

She died Monday morning.

Police are not charging the man who was with Bigelow the night of Feb. 4. A .38-caliber revolver found near the scene of the shootings has been sent to a laboratory to undergo ballistics tests.

The felony murder charges carry sentences of life imprisonment if Bigelow is convicted. He also is charged with assault with intent to rob while armed, which also carries a life sentence, and felony use of a firearm, with a mandatory two-year sentence.

A preliminary examination of the evidence against him is set for Tuesday in 25th District Court.