Jonathan Hoffman, Michigan teenager, dies at 17 in shooting; grandmother may face charges

Jonathan Hoffman, a 17-year-old living with his grandmother in the Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield, Mich., died after being shot eight times with a handgun on May 20.

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The grandmother, Sandra Layne, 74, has been accused by police of shooting Hoffman. Layne’s attorney has said, in preliminary statements and court appearances, that she was afraid of her grandson, who was living with herso he could finish high school as his parents resettled in Arizona.

Hoffman’s story is all over Detroit media (click here and here and here), and the Eulogizer is not going to report the grim details or the court maneuverings in the aftermath of the boy’s death. However, here is an excerpt from (and a link to) a moving and well-reported article (including interviews with the boy’s parents) in the Detroit Jewish News:

Hoffman, a former student at Hillel Day School, was a senior at Farmington Central High School. Since last fall, the teen had been living with his grandparents, Sandra and Fred Layne, in the Maple Place Villas condominium complex in West Bloomfield. His parents, Michael Hoffman and Jennifer Hoffman, who are divorced, were living in Arizona with Jonathan’s younger sister, Jessica (“Jessie”).

Hoffman was described as bright, funny, kind and caring by his many friends and former classmates, who were stunned by his sudden and violent death.

“Some of my funniest memories from Hillel are with him,” said Ryan Grosinger of Farmington Hills.

According to Lt. Tim Diamond of the West Bloomfield Police Department, emergency dispatchers received calls from a neighbor who heard gunshots and from Hoffman himself, who said he had been shot by his grandmother. A detective testifying at Layne’s arraignment said the 911 operator heard Hoffman screaming that he had been shot again.

The Eulogizer highlights the life accomplishments of famous and not-so-famous Jews who have passed away recently. Write to the Eulogizer at eulogizer@jta.org. Follow the Eulogizer on Twitter @TheEulogizer

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