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Detroit neurosurgeon shot in the head execution style

By Sarah May
|
May 11, 2023

In a case that continues to send shockwaves through Detroit's medical community and beyond, an autopsy conducted on the body of Dr. Devon Hoover, 53, who was found dead in his home on April 23, revealed that he was shot twice in the head before being dragged into an attic crawl space, as the Detroit Free Press reports.

The findings from the Wayne County Medical Examiner's office confirm the brutal way in which Hoover – a beloved and well-respected neurosurgeon – was murdered in the expansive, historic residence in which he was said to have lived alone.

Horrifying Details Emerge

The medical examiner's report, which was obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request, explained, “The decedent was found nude and prone in a crawlspace in his home covered with a comforter, sheet and rug. ...clothing consisted of a sock on the right foot.”

According to the report, Hoover was initially shot behind his right ear and then sustained another shot to the back of his head, and “there was a partial muzzle imprint on the inferior edge of his wound,” as local ABC affiliate WXYZ added.

Abrasions on Hoover's skin indicated that following his death, he was dragged face-down to the crawlspace where he was ultimately discovered.

Hoover's body was found by police as the result of a wellness check requested after the deceased surgeon failed to appear as expected at a family gathering in Indiana.

Investigation Underway

The killing of Hoover in his $1.2 million home in Detroit's upscale Boston-Edison neighborhood sparked an outpouring of sadness and demands for justice, and the police investigation quickly led to the arrest of someone referred to as a “person of interest,” as the Free Press reported late last month.

That individual was initially held on charges that were not related to Hoover's killing, and Detroit Police Chief James White revealed that the person was personally acquainted with the doctor but would not expand further on details of their relationship.

“We're confident this person has information about what transpired. This was not a random act,” White said at the time, and though he did not elaborate on a possible motive, he added, “We've got some theories.”

In a disappointing turn of events earlier this month, the aforementioned person of interest was released, and police continue to seek leads and tips for those in the community with any knowledge of what may have occurred.

Break-in Probed

Yet another intriguing twist in the case of Hoover's death is the fact that, as local Fox affiliate WJBK reported late last month, the late doctor's home was the scene of a break-in subsequent to the discovery of his body.

The incident occurred late on the evening of Saturday, April 30, and the home was said to have been accessed through a rear window.

It was unclear what, if anything had been taken from the premises by the intruder, though Hoover was said to have filled his massive abode with an array of pricey artworks and period antiques.

“He was essentially the curator of his own museum, which he loved sharing with friends, family, and visitors,” an obituary for the surgeon explained, and he frequently hosted charity benefits for a range of organizations in the metro Detroit area.

Beloved Doctor Remembered

The death of Hoover, who served as a highly-regarded surgeon in Detroit for nearly two decades, spurred an outpouring of grief from friends, family, and former patients alike, as local NBC affiliate WDIV noted.

A statement from his large, extended family, many of whom lived in Indiana, read, “We, the family of Devon Hoover, wish to express our profound sadness at the loss of a beloved son, brother, and uncle. We grieve his untimely death and will miss him greatly. We are so grateful for the many words of kindness and stories from people who were touched by his life. He was a gift from God and used his talents to bless many.”

Former patient Sheryl Leaver was among those who shared fond memories of Hoover, saying, “Have you ever noticed when people die, all these people say wonderful things, and it's not always true? With Dr. Hoover, I was reading all the stuff online, and it is [true]. He was just so fabulous and modest.”

Leaver added, “It's absolutely horrible and horrific, and I feel for his family and his friends that are very close with him. I just hope that they find the person very soon and bring him to justice. He deserves that.”