Michigan man accused of shooting two men because they were gay

A Detroit man was charged Friday in connection with the shooting of two gay men who were contacted through a dating app, police said.

The Wayne County prosecutor's office alleges that Demetris Nelson, 26, targeted 31-year-old Brian Anderson and 26-year-old Malcolm Drake because they were gay.

Prosecutors said Nelson used the dating app Grindr to track down the men before fatally shooting Anderson and critically wounding Drake, the Detroit Police Department wrote in a release.

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Nelson was arrested Monday and has been charged with one count of first-degree murder, felony murder and possession of a firearm during felony, among other charges, the release said.

“To some this will be just another hateful and violent act in America,” County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in the statement. “They will read about this case and continue to go about their day. To me, that is quite tragic.”

The case was assigned to Special Prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz of the Fair Michigan Justice Project, a collaboration between the prosecutor’s office and the nonprofit Fair Michigan Foundation, the release said. The project aims to help Michigan law enforcement officers and prosecutors solve crimes against LGBTQ individuals.

"We are saddened and outraged by this despicable crime. This case is just the most recent example of how members of Detroit's LGBTQ community are too often targets of violence," Fair Michigan Foundation President Alanna Maguire said in a statement.

Nelson is expected to appear in court on July 26.