Detroit mom shot 7 times by ex-boyfriend survives, but loses best friend who protected her from him


Man shot his girlfriend, her best friend and then killed himself

Detroit, Michigan – A woman wanted to protect her best friend, from her abusive baby father, but that loyalty would cost her life, while her best friend still lives.

On Sunday night, Sherrol White, 27, spent the night at her best friend’s house, on the 2600 block of Wreford Street.  Her 29-year-old best friend, Sabrina Cotton, was having problems with her ex, and had already advised Sherrol to avoid stopping by.

“I did everything I could to try and help her. I told her ‘you can’t come right now. He’s acting crazy’,” Cotton said.

Sherrol White died while protecting Sabrina Cotton

Sherrol White

In April, Cotton broke up with her abusive ex, after she became pregnant with his child.

“Once he found out I was pregnant, he pushed me down the stairs. That was it.”

Cotton filed and order of protection and moved into a shelter.  She recently moved into the home on Wreford street and gave birth to her child, two weeks ago.

On Monday, the baby’s father,  Michael Larkin, 37, accused his baby mother of cheating, and threatened to kill both Cotton and Faith. Sherrol White was familiar with Cotton’s ex.

Cotton said Larkins was once again being abusive and violating the personal protection order.

michael larkin

Sometime on Monday, while the two women were inside the home, Larkin was outside the home calling over and over.

Cotton called 911 a few times and got a message that there was a wait time…

“When we called 911, 911 didn’t answer the phone. (We got a message that) said there’s a wait time,” Cotton said.

While attempting to call back, Larkin broke a window and gained entry to the home.

Once he was inside the house, Cotton screamed for White to hold Faith and tried to call 911 again.

“Before we could do that, he came barging through the window. He held me down execution-style and got the phones,” she said he threatened to kill everyone, including himself. “He overpowered me, he overpowered everybody once that gun came out.”

While being held down, Cotton said she heard a single gunshot before the gun was turned to her. The shot was aimed at White, who had heard police outside, and came running down the stairs with a poolstick, in order to protect her friend.

“I looked down and saw my baby in a pool of blood and she was crying and I didn’t know if it was coming from her,” she said. “And I saw my best friend on the floor.”

“He shot me seven times and when he shot me in the back of the head, I thought I was dead.”

Just seconds before seven bullets pierced her body, the 29-year-old woman said she realized her best friend, 27-year-old Sherrol White, was shot.

Cotton said she blacked out and only remembers walking out of the home to a sea of police.

She’s now recovering and says only later she learned Larkins killed himself after killing her best friend.

“She should still be here and not me. I know she’s looking down on us.”

The 9-day-old infant was safely removed from the home and treated for hypothermia.

By the time Larkin got around to shooting the mother of his child, police were already outside, after a neighbor heard screaming and called the police.

Police had originally determined the scene to be a barricaded gunman and possible “active shooter situation,” Craig said. But when police entered the home, the suspect and the friend were already dead.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig believes someone tipped Larkin off about the location where she was staying. That someone may be, Cotton, who was trying to give Larkin a chance to be in his child’s life.

The suspect had been at the home Sunday night creating a disturbance, Craig said.

On Tuesday Craig said, “This started yesterday, but there were no calls to police. Had someone called us yesterday, maybe this could have been a different situation.”

She said she’s praying for White’s family and trying to stay strong for Faith, who remains at Children’s hospital, after suffering from hypothermia. Cotton says she can’t bear the thought of another woman going through what she has. She calls her survival a miracle.

“Do whatever you can to get out.”

“She wasn’t just my best friend. She was my child’s godmother.”