On Sunday night, police carried out a wellness check at the home of a revered neurosurgeon who had failed to show up at a family party. In the attic of the property belonging to Dr. Devon Hoover in Detroit’s historic Boston-Edison District, officers found a scene of horror.
Hoover’s lifeless body was found wrapped up in a plastic sheet with a single gunshot wound to the head. His car was also later found ditched at a separate location, according to FOX 2. As of Tuesday, no arrest had been made in the case as investigators still worked to establish the circumstances around the grim killing. According to CBS Detroit, police believe the shooting may have been “related to a domestic incident that turned deadly.”
Neighbors and patients who Hoover treated through Ascension Healthcare at St. John Hospital in Detroit were shocked by news of the 53-year-old’s brutal death. “I went on Facebook and I saw his picture and thought oh, he must’ve gotten an award,” Julia, one of Hoover’s patients, told WXYZ. “So I put my glasses on and my daughter was outside with the dog and I just started screaming, ‘Oh, my God, oh, my God.’”
Julia was one of countless people who paid tribute to the slain doctor. She says she never lost her ability to walk after being treated by him for a spinal problem in 2008. “I respect him. I thank him because my life in the last 15 years could’ve been way different without him.”
His distraught patients also spoke out about their shock and heartbreak in a “Justice for Dr. Devon Hoover” Facebook group created Monday. There, Joni Yankitis called Hoover “an incredibly kind and talented neurosurgeon.” “He was a gentle soul, explaining the procedures I had to undergo with patience and always made sure I was comfortable,” Yankitis added, saying she was “sad and angry that his life was senselessly ended.”
Friends and neighbors similarly expressed their disbelief at his death. Jonathan Shearrod, who lives down the block from where Hoover resided for about 15 years, said his generous neighbor would be “extremely missed.” “It’s gonna take some time to like wrap your head around what has happened,” he told the Detroit News. “I just can’t imagine anyone experiencing that in their home or just having to face that kind of terror where you live.”
Shearrod said the neurosurgeon lived alone at the home but would regularly welcome others for neighborhood functions and celebrations, and had even hosted weddings for his colleagues’ relatives. “He’s an anchor of the block, extremely involved in the neighborhood,” Shearrod said. “He’s just a wonderful person. I mean, the home looks amazing because he was an ardent reservationist, restorationist.”
“Devon Hoover, MD, was a dedicated and well respected member of the Ascension Michigan family and will be greatly missed by our community,” Ascension said in a statement. “Our sincerest condolence and heartfelt prayers are with his family, friends and fellow associated during this incredibly difficult time.”