Man dies after carjacking assault, witness steps in to help

Man dies after carjacking assault, witness steps in to help

Posted: Updated:
68 year-old Donald Bradshaw with his daughters. Bradshaw was killed Feb. 3. (Courtesy: Tracey Bradshaw) 68 year-old Donald Bradshaw with his daughters. Bradshaw was killed Feb. 3. (Courtesy: Tracey Bradshaw)
(WJBK) -

A man died after being carjacked on Detroit's east side Tuesday morning. Police say he was beaten and a witness stepped in to help, but the man later died at the hospital.

Family members have identified the victim as 68 year-old Donald Bradshaw, better known as "The Peanut Man" to his fellow Detroiters. He made a living riding his bicycle all over town, selling bags of peanuts, as well as fresh roses.

Bradshaw was driving his 2002 Mercury Villager near E. Vernor Highway and Beaufait Street. When he was stopped at that intersection, police say a man opened up the passenger's door of the vehicle, reached in and grabbed the keys out of the ignition.

That's when they believe the man got out and pushed Bradshaw over into the passenger seat. The suspect was now driving, heading southbound on Beaufait. He stopped once more to push the victim out of the van.

A witness in a nearby car says the suspect then began beating Bradshaw in the face and body with a tire iron. Then he took the car and drove off, leaving Bradshaw bleeding in the snow. The witness took action.

"The witness dialed 911 and then attempted to go after the suspect in the stolen vehicle, lost him in the neighborhoods. Obviously, the roads in the neighborhoods are still a little bit slippery," says Sgt. Michael Woody of the Detroit Police Department.

After losing the carjacker, the witness drove back to help the beaten victim.

"He was pretty bloody and beat up, obviously, but he was talking," says Woody. 

Bradshaw was rushed to the hospital, but died later on.

Police are now trying to find the man responsible, and are thanking the witness who stepped up to help in the meantime.

"It leaves me speechless to see the citizens of the city actually stepping up and taking care of each other," says Woody.

The suspect is described as a black man in his thirties about 5 foot 8 inches tall, and was last seen driving the victim's van. The license plate on that is DCD 3342.

Bradshaw did not have a life insurance policy, which is making it difficult for the family to arrange for a proper service and burial.

Bradshaw's family is asking for help. A fund has been set up through 5th Third Bank. Anyone can make a contribution at any branch. It's called the Bradshaw Memorial Fund.

If you have any information about the suspect, please call Detroit police immediately.

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