DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A man identified as a person of interest in a Detroit barbershop shooting that killed three people has been convicted of an unrelated assault charge.
A federal court jury on Monday convicted Larry Walker II of assaulting a federal law enforcement officer for trying to ram an unmarked police car in the hours following the November shooting. He’s not charged in the barbershop slayings but has been identified by police as a person of interest.
The verdict came after a trial that began last week. Walker faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced July 8.
Police said that, while under surveillance by an officer with the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force, Walker noticed an agent in an unmarked car tried to cut him off, and he then pursued the agent in his own vehicle. Police said Walker bumped into the agent’s car several times while the two traveled at a high rate of speed on Rochester Road.
Officers eventually stopped Walker and he was taken into custody. Police Chief James Craig said Walker was wearing body armor at the time of his arrest.
Defense attorney Carla Marable told reporters that Walker chased the unmarked car because he believed the driver was harassing his family. She said Walker had no role in the shooting.
The charges against Walker were filed three days after nine people were shot, three of them fatally, in what Craig called an act of “urban terrorism” at Al’s Barber Shop in the 5200 block of 7 Mile Road on the city’s northeast side.
According to police, two vehicles pulled up to the barbershop and the gunmen engaged a couple of the victims before bullets started flying. Two victims died at the scene, while a third victim later died at the hospital.
Craig said illegal gambling has been known to take place at the shop, although it was not immediately clear whether or not the business was specifically targeted. No one has been charged in the case.
Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for tips that lead to an arrest. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call an anonymous tip line at 1-800-SPEAK-UP. Tipsters may also submit information online at this link.
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