Police: Masked Trio Kills Party Store Owner In Armed Robbery
CLINTON TWP. (WWJ) - Police are searching for three suspects after an armed robbery inside a Macomb County party store turned deadly.
The incident unfolded around 11 p.m. Friday at the Moon Lite Party Store on Harper Avenue, just north of 14 Mile Road in Clinton Township.
“Three suspects entered the business and subsequently a fatal shot was fired at the clerk during a robbery,” Lieutenant Dan Dohring told WWJ’s Kathryn Larson.
The victim’s identity was not immediately released, although reports indicate the man was in his 50s.
The crooks then ransacked the business, taking an undisclosed amount of money from the cash register before fleeing the scene.
All three suspects were described as black males. The suspects were dressed in dark clothing and wore masks that partially covered their faces, but investigators are hoping someone will be able to recognize the suspects from their eyes.
Police say the suspects also wore gloves, as to not leave their fingerprints behind as evidence.
“We’re still investigating this case, and investigators are still on the scene at this time,” Dohring said.
Police have released several images from a surveillance camera that captured the crime in progress. They’re also collecting evidence and looking to speak with anyone who might have witnessed anything suspicious in the area.
Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
Anyone with information or who may recognize the suspects is urged to contact police at 586-493-7802 or 586-493-7845, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.
Dozens of people gathered outside the Moon Lite Party Store Saturday morning to mourn the loss of the man known as “Sweet Basil,” described as a loving father of two who would have given anyone in need the shirt off his back.
Christine Derrey, who lives in the neighborhood, laid fresh flowers in front of the store to remember a man who was always smiling.
“I am just very sad and disgusted that people would actually come in here and shoot first before telling him what they wanted because he literally would have just given it to them,” she said. “They didn’t have to kill him. They came in here to murder him, I mean, that’s just how it appears because if anybody knows Basil, he would have just given it to you. He wasn’t a fighter, I mean, he just survived cancer.”
A prayer vigil is planned for 6 p.m. Saturday at the store.