BY ZLATI MEYER
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Geraldine Jackson was happy her granddaughter was back from the South. To welcome her back to Detroit, the 69-year-old was cooking a celebratory soul-food feast on Wednesday in her home on the city’s northwest side.
It sped through the walls of Jackson’s house and hit her.
The meal went unfinished.
She was dead.
A robbery victim nearby had fired his gun at his mugger; the bullet that pierced the modest home on the 18400 block of Vaughan was a stray.
“I was very shocked,” Jackson’s daughter Cassandra Johnson said Wednesday, explaining that she found out on her way home from work.
Family and neighbors described Jackson on Wednesday night as introverted, but said they admired her for raising four of her grandchildren.
“She was a grandma who loved to cook and that what she was doing,” Johnson said.
The bullet hit Jackson when she was in her living room with her Southern granddaughter and a female friend, Johnson said, adding that she believed her mother actually was struck by two bullets — one that went through her right arm and another that pierced her stomach.
According to Detroit police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens, an armed man held up a 65-year-old man who was looking at a house on the 18300 block of Evergreen shortly before 2 p.m.
The thief, a 19-year-old from Detroit, then fled in the man’s green and tan Chevy Suburban,
crashing into a tree.
When the robbed man fired shots at the mugger as he was climbing out of the SUV, a bullet went off course and into a home on the 18400 block of Vaughan.
Geraldine Jackson was a quiet retired woman who was raising four of her grandchildren, Johnson said.
“She was more quiet,” Johnson reflected. “Her thing was making sure the grandkids were fine. She kept to herself.”
Police questioned the man who fired the gun, Stephens said. His name hasn’t been released.
Jackson had just had heart surgery to have a pacemaker put in, according to Johnson.
“She was just a very nice person,” said neighbor Queen McGhee, who has lived on the same block as Jackson for approximately 25 years. “The last time we had a conversation was back last summer, and she spoke about wanting to move back south.”