August 24th, 2009
01:47 PM ET

Remembering Trisha






Steve Babcock holds a senior portrait of his daughter, Trisha Babcock, who was 24 when she was killed in Detroit on Aug. 1.

Steve Babcock holds a senior portrait of his daughter, Trisha Babcock, who was 24 when she was killed in Detroit on Aug. 1.

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

The bullet that killed Trisha Babcock on a summer night in Detroit took her life and forever shattered another one. "I can't believe she's gone," Steve Babcock said of his slain daughter. "She was such a special person. She had so much potential."

Police believe Ms. Babcock's promise came to a violent end at the hand of a 12-year-old boy. The young suspect allegedly approached the 24-year-old woman just after midnight on August 1. Babcock and her friend sat in a car and, after demanding money, the boy opened fire. Ms. Babcock died a short time later at a nearby hospital. The child accused of killing her has been charged with murder and attempted armed robbery. Authorities are looking for a possible second suspect.

Prosecutors have announced the 12-year-old will be tried as a juvenile. However, he has been designated as an adult, which, if convicted of the crime, gives the judge discretion of sentencing him to a life term in prison.

Steve Babcock shows a photograph of his daughter Trisha, at right, and a friend. The 2003 Davison High School graduate had planned to attend Mott Community College in Flint this fall and become a nurse, he said.

Steve Babcock shows a photograph of his daughter Trisha, at right, and a friend. The 2003 Davison High School graduate had planned to attend Mott Community College in Flint this fall and become a nurse, he said.

In a media release, the Detroit Police Department said the youth's name would not be released pending the August 26 preliminary hearing. He is currently being held in a juvenile detention facility.

Mr. Babcock is acutely aware that much of the media focus is on the suspect's age. But he hopes people across the country remember his daughter, a woman who, he said, "had the most beautiful smile in the world."

And he also had a message to those who have shown compassion for the young suspect: "He has his heart beating and air in his lungs, Mr. Babcock told CNN. "My daughter has neither of them."

"He shot my little girl. When that boy picked up the gun, he made the choice and he became an adult on that spot."

Mr. Babcock said his daughter was heading back to school in the fall to become a registered nurse. He said she also loved to cook and enjoyed spending time with family and friends. When her half-sister was having financial problems, he recalled she never hesitated to lend a helping hand.

Mr. Babcock said he was given sole custody of his daughter and brother when they were children. He taught them to be kind and respectful. "Trisha was raised by me and she was very compassionate," he told CNN, "and (she) had a warm heart and was a loving person."

"Every Mother's day she would give me a Mother's Day card thanking for being a mother and father," Mr. Babcock added.

The victim was white and the suspect is African-American. But Mr. Babcock is adamant that race should not be a factor in this tragedy. "If it was a white boy," he said, "the hatred would still be the same. It doesn't matter the color of the person, what matters is my daughter was shot to death."

The day before she died, Ms. Babcock was planning on doing laundry at her dad's home, Mr. Babcock recalled. But she was having car trouble. So he said he suggested she get it checked out. She agreed. Their conversation ended with Ms. Babcock telling her father she loved him. "That was the last time I talked to her," he said.

The pain has been unbearable ever since that day. He said he sat in the funeral home for three days, refusing to leave his daughter's side.

A tribute video to Trisha Babcock has been posted on YouTube. For Mr. Babcock, watching it is too much to bear. "Every time I look at it, I cry my heart out," he said. "I put my hand on the screen and try to touch her."

"My life is never going to be the same."

Follow Gabe on Twitter @cnnfalcon.

For more crime coverage go to cnn.com/crime.

Filed under: 360º Follow • Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
soundoff (372 Responses)
  1. Ayatta

    Really John? Always the black kids commiting crimes? They should be killed? No, YOU should be killed. So I guess that was a black 8 yr old boy that killed his father and his father's friend? Or that was a black kid who killed both his Grandparents, set the house on fire, and then tried to cover it up and blamed Xanax for his crime? You are truly an ignorant racist pig! I have nothing but compassion for the victim and her family, but the fact of the matter is, you cannot say this boy became an adult when he picked up a gun. You do not know the background of this story. You don't know if he was coerced into this or not. Obviously, he didn't have any supervision if he was out at this hour. And clearly, he can't buy a gun himself so where do you think he got it from? 12 is old enough to know right from wrong, but I think people underestimate just how child-like a 12 year old's mind is. Just because YOU were one way at 12 doesn't mean he was. Who did he have to teach him? Where were his parents, his role model? White people commit random acts of violence too, so don't DARE blame it on only black children. The difference is that white people don't get caught. They're the ones who will kill 15 people they don't know and either flee the country or kill themselves. I don't even want to discuss race. The bottom line is, this boy was a child. He should be punished, but he should also be examined, rehabilitated, etc. Condemn him for life and he will be a monster. He obviously needs guidance

    August 25, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  2. Eye for an Eye

    Seems to me that no matter what the age, an eye for an eye is the appropriate penalty here. Until our justice system starts to actually punish people for crimes they commit they will continue to pillage our country. There should be no endless appeals process, and living at taxpayers expense. Fire up the gas chambers/electric chairs and clear death rows, save our tax dollars and send the message that we are fed up with crime and want action.

    August 25, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  3. Debbie

    I don't even know where to started, there is so much hated in so many of these comment ,that you ask where was his parents,I feel sorry for the man that lose his daughter ,and I feel sorry for the 12yr old,cause as someone said he is going to learn in jail,very well. But I mostly feel sorry for most of you that wrote your comment cause you do have alot of hate inside of yourselfs.

    August 25, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  4. Raphael

    ALERT: Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson do NOT have "Black People's Spokesman" as their title. Anybody who assumes such is an idiot. And hip-hop does not have a monopoly on black culture either. It's just what the media chooses to show the most. Unfortunately, too many Americans are sheep that believe everything they see on TV.

    Mike in NY: I'm curious to see where you are getting these statistics.
    It doesn't change the fact that there are plenty of white kids that are also out there committing crimes. This isn't about race, so why do people keep making it such?

    And to the people that complain about the "hate crime" category: If this crime were racially motivated, then he definitely should be charged as such. However, I think he would have killed this woman regardless as to whether she were white or black. This was a crime of opportunity. Thus, it is unlikely that this would count as a hate crime.

    And to the people who want the boy's parents incarcerated: You know nothing about the details regarding what led up to this shooting. Until you do, you cannot convict the parents. You contradict yourselves. If he should be tried as an adult, then that means he is capable of knowing right from wrong and making his own decisions. If this is true, then his parents should not be held accountable, because no matter what they did, he still made an adult choice to kill people. Should Jeffrey Dahmer's parents be incarcerated? He made his first kill when he was a teenager, and he tortured countless animals as well.

    August 25, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  5. Ignorance and Hatred is Death

    Another thing is that people of all colors are stuck in the past. my great grandparents where Black-foot Indians and where discriminated against by whites and blacks. They hated both races and till this day had issues with both races. The problem is that they passed it along to my grandfather he then passed it along to my mother, but guess what it stops with me. I am a true believer in Christ Jesus and If you read John 3-4 you will see that the only simple thing god wants us to do is to believe in Christ and love one another as we love ourselves. This is my true belief and I am sticking to it. Black, Asian, Mexican, or white. Who are you or I to judge each other's circumstances, only God is the Judge? This is exactly why our country is in the state of distress that it is in (division). I am so sick of excuses from all races, we no longer love each other......and for that our Country will never prosper or see change until we change the way that we think!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 25, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  6. ashley breanne

    wow... first off i need to say i really feel for the family that lost their mother but mike from florida let me tell you race is not the issue here i am a WHITE female so don't let you think this is a black woman or man defending him because i am white the truth is black or white or brown he is a human and white kids do horrible things to you just don't hear about it as often as you would a black child let me tell you what he did is in no way right or had any excuse to take someones life i usually don't comment on this stuff but it really bothers me when someone throws in the race card because they are black.....if i went out tomorrow and shot a woman in a robbery do you really think that the black community would go well she is white and it would be plastered all over the tv stations no.... as sad as it is it would maybe be on a local television station it would not even be headline news i am from florida myself and i just moved to north carolina but when i lived in florida i don't know how many times on the news i saw a story of a young white teen or young adult do something really horrible i saw a story just before i left florida two months ago about a 16 year old WHITE boy breaking into a 60 year old woman's home beating and raping her and then he strangled her and killed her but i didn't see that on the headline news you should be ashamed of yourself for pulling the race card up it's all about the way they are raised and what kind of environment they grow up in he probably did grow up in a poor black community where they don't have support in those ways that it's offered for a lot of other communities that is all i have to say it's a horrible tragedy and i offer my condolences to the family of both it is a tragic thing to happen and i am sure justice will be served on this young man and hopefully it will bring some closure to the situation for the Babcock family

    August 25, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  7. garth

    I was 12 years old once and remember very well the difference between bad & good. This thug should never see the outside of prison ever! I live in Kansas City and we have a huge problem with Blacks here. Shooting and stealing all the time. Can't look at them for fear of being shot. It's the bad ass culture. I think it's time to make these baby makers responsible for their thug children. I bet this brat never knew his father and mom, I bet she has a new man in her life at least every 6 months. Typical!

    August 25, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  8. South

    My heart goes out to the father for the loss his daughter. Why must everything always have to be a white/black situation. No it wasn't a white boy that shot his daughter, it was a black boy. BUT that does not mean that all 12 year old black boys have to be compared to one. Not all black kids are bad.

    August 25, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  9. Ignorance and Hatred is Death

    I am appalled at this crime and I believe the 12 year-old BOY should sit in jail for the remainder of his life. I am so sorry for Mr. Babcock's loss. As for the ignorance and stupidity being spewed by people that do not know the facts or using partial facts to support their own racial ignorance. Firstly yes blacks are 7 times more likely to be involved in crime, not only that there are 12 times more likely to be a victim of crime by their own. Secondly if you check BJS it will show you that crime is more persistent among people of the same race. Race has always been a factor since America was created. The problem is that so many people hold on to those silly ideologies that their parents passed down to them we are not willing to sit down and actually talk with one another to express what we think and how we feel candidly. Secondly this boy should not be charged with a hate crime simply because it was not racially motivated. He was motivated by money or whatever the case maybe, so many of you need to understand what a hate crime really is. Thirdly Slavery is in the past. there is no excuse to act without moral character, yet the children of today, black or white have lost that moral character and there morals have been replaced with the “I want it now and I shouldn't have to work for it attitude.” Look at what we glorify, not just blacks with hip-hop hoochies and gold and cars, but whites mtv and VHL the hills and sweet 16 where kids get outlandish gifts and parents spend stupid amounts of money that should have gone to feeding the poor. Don't blame it on black, white, yellow blame it on a society devoid of morals and a sense of hard-work.

    August 25, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  10. Daryn

    How many thousands of dollars of counseling will be wasted on this 12 year old? Does anyone think he will ever be an asset to society? The boy is permanently damaged goods, fry him and spend the money on a kid that wants to do something productive with his life.

    August 25, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  11. Lisa, Connecticut

    "Mike in NYC August 24th, 2009 11:35 am ET

    The fact of the matter is that it was almost inevitable that the suspect in this case was black. Twelve year-old White kids rarely commit these kinds of crimes..."

    That maybe true where you live. In my neighborhood, 12 y/o black or white kids don't commit that kind of crime (I'm black by the way). Depends on where you live. That statement can't be true if you have 12 year old kids killing kids and teachers in school (remember in AR a few years back?). As a parent, I feel for Mr. Babcock. Like he said, race doesn't matter. What matters is that his daughter is not here anymore. Please don't make race an issue.

    August 25, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  12. Darrie

    Lack of good parenting caused this crime. The young boy who committed the crime is to blame also, yes, but not as much, in my opinion, as the obvious lack of good parenting in his life is to blame. He is is/was not a finished product but was a child becoming a young man and he needed much watching and guidance as all such youngsters do. The time of transition in their life is filled with much traumatic emotion, questions that often go unanswered and confusion and it is not a time they should have to face alone. In my opinion, if a person becomes a parent, they should have to undergo mandatory parenting skill courses and be tested on a regular basis. When youngsters having difficulties are left alone to face the disruptive chaos of transitioning from child to young man, tragedy is often a result of that abandonment of parental duty!

    August 25, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  13. michele

    Where in the hell were the parents? At 12, my sons were playing video games or sports, i knew where they were, and don't the use the poor intercity black kid sinero, i was a single parent. When your child is conceived, you take responsibility for that life. As parents we need to know where our kids are and what they are doing, and raise them with respect for others. They parents of this "little man" need to be prosecuted the same as him. When he picked up that gun, he became a man. He made a decision to become an adult, so prosecute him and the parents as one. I feel so badly for the father of the young woman who was slain. Her life is over, but this little monster will live on, with us footing the bill to support him. Maybe the "black community" who are so quick to bring up slavery, should step back, stop playing the slavery card, and let hundred old history finally rest , and worry about the current kids and the future of those who arn't going to make it because no one is listening or watching, step up to the plate and fix what's wrong now, not what was wrong hundreds of years ago....

    August 25, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  14. Jeff

    Question of the day.... What grade did Jacorey last complete. Wow! it is unreal the sentences that this guy came up with.

    August 25, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  15. A Son's Mother

    I think it's horrible for people to say most of the killings in our country are commited by black males. Not giving excuses but a black male will not kill his entire family because he's afraid to go home with bad grades; a black male doesn't attempt to kill everyone in his school or college because he's unhappy with his own life; a black male doesn't kill a group of women in an exercise class because he hasn't had a girlfriend in 20 years; a black man will not kill white people because he doesn't like white people (but white people kill black people on a regular basis because they don't like black people)

    August 25, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  16. sassy

    Criminals are getting younger and younger by the day, so let their punishment fit the crime committed. Maybe we have an aniquated justice system that needs to be revised to better punish youth that commit these heinous crimes. I pray that this father finds peace in his soul from his daughter's loss with time. God lift his burden of grief !

    August 25, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  17. KLM

    @Vickie in VA

    Thank you for a very nice post that addresses the actual issue.
    A crime was committed, plain and simple. Race should not even
    enter the picture. There is a reason the lady of justice is blindfolded.
    When we as a country can learn to ignore race and wealth in our
    justice system then we will have truely evolved...

    August 25, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  18. Jim 1956

    It is a complete tragedy about this woman being murdered during a robbery. However, the races of the victim and criminal are NOT RELEVANT!!
    A citizen was robbed and murdered. What difference does it make what the victim's race is?
    What difference what the murderer's race is?

    Would you really care if the person who murdered a family member was from Tibet or, Oklahoma? I doubt it. Or; If he killed them because he wanted money for a Hamburger or, to buy some Crack? Or, a new suit to go out to get a job?

    This is NOT about race. It is about a pre teen not raised in a caring nurturing enviroment. I t is about a youth not taught right from wrong. The parents fo this kid should be brought to task here as well for allowing this to happen.

    Please don't cry the Blues to the rest of us over social injustices of 100 years ago or, even 50 years ago. That has absolutey NOTHING to do with this kid who most likely has never even read history tragedies. That is history. The past. All we can do is learn from the past, we cannot cure or change it. It is over and done with.

    I really wish people would just STOP bringing up events of so many years back that have absolutely NO connection to todays society. African Americans as well as any other have every chance to live honest and prosperous lives as anyone else. Stop using history as a crutch to blame an individuals failure to be successful or prosperous.

    Look at all the many Americans that have made a good life regardless of race. Stop perpetuating the lie of he got way with it cause he's white or, he's guilty cause he's black.

    America is full of good honest hard working people that are white, black, yellow, brown.
    This person killed a woman during a robbery. He deserves punishment as an adult. Don't make excuses for him, you don't even know him nor, his reasons for doing what he did or if he's done it before. Don't coddle him because of his age or race. There are girls his age who are mothers and many handle THAT responsibly which tells me that 12 years old is old enough to know right from wrong, PERIOD!!!

    August 25, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  19. Boojione

    My condolences to Mr. Babcock. I am a divorced African American women who has had a loved one ripped from my family by a juvenile. He was arrested, and he got 44 years. In my opinion, that is not nearly enough. His family still gets to see him and talk to him. And true, giving a juvenile life, will not bring my family back or Mr. Babcock's daughter, but I certainly would rest easy, knowing they have forfitted their right to live in society, just as they so brazenly made the same decision for our loved ones. So I understand Mr. Babcock's view, this is not about race, this is about a terrible, terrible crime. And somone needs to be held accountable. At 12 years old, everyone knows right from wrong and you certainly know that killing someone means the end of their lives. I think he should be charged as an adult, maybe it will give these kids something to think about when they go out and commit these heinous crimes. Let's face it, they are mature enough to know that they will not be charged as adults, but as juveniles for their crimes, so they have no problem committing crimes. But I will bet the farm, that if the juvenile laws should be changed in every state, to up the anty for these runaway juvenile offenders they would thing long and hard about their actions. A grown up crime, DESERVES grown up punishment.

    August 25, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  20. KLM


    Mike in NYC…. White America has NEVER apologized for any of the tragedies played upon blacks in this country. The senseless hangings, rapes and mutilation of innocent people that just happened to be Black. That being said, America would not be what it is if they didn’t have FREE labor from slaves to build it.

    While I in now way agree or support Mike in NYC, as I find his blatant racism intolerable. I must comment on the statement that you made above.

    First of all I am white of Scottish Irish, and Cherokee descent at the time salvery was going on my ancestors were being driven from their land and hunted like animals. The ones that made it to America came over as indenture servants and wound up working in mining camps and railroads. Most could barely afford to keep food on their plates for themselves, therefore there were no slaves.

    Explain what I have to apologize for...

    Second the railroad was built on the back of 3 different races Black, White, Chinese. It is the railroad along with industrial revolution that history credits with establishing this country, so how do you figure this was all on the back of slave labor?

    August 25, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  21. Susie

    My heart goes out to Mr. Babcock. May you find peace that you raised a wonderful, loving daughter.

    It is my understanding that this is not the first time this child has been in trouble. I have no sympathy for him. I don't care if he is white, black, red, neglected etc. At 12 years old you know right from wrong and he should spend the rest of his days in prison. If you can not control your child at 12 you certainly will not control him at 18 or 20. I would have no trouble putting this child in prison for life. Society always make excuses for bad behavior – why......

    August 25, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  22. KLM

    @Mom from Indiana

    Evidently by your comment, your children are either very young, or led a very sheltered life. Once a child begins school, any good therapist will tell you that the parental and the familia structure is no longer the primary influence. Therefore at 12 Years old his parents action or inaction may have had very little to do with this event. Short of the parents locking the child in a cage there is no way they could know what the child was up to every minute of the day. Have you ever let your child leave the house without you, Dropped them at the mall, at a friends house, do they go to school. At night do you have a security system set up to prevent your child from leaving the house, and surveillance equipment so that you will know if they do?

    Please pack youur bags, you may be the next contestant to serve time because of your children...

    August 25, 2009 at 10:00 am |
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