DETROIT (WWJ) – The daughter of an auto parts store manager killed in cold blood during an armed robbery is speaking out and demanding answers in her father’s death.
Jamie Haller’s mind was racing and she couldn’t sleep, so she went to the O’Reilly Auto Parts store on Schaefer near Six Mile Road Thursday morning where her father spent his last moments alive.
“That’s my daddy that they killed. They killed my daddy,” she said through tears. “They took my daddy for no reason. No reason they took him.”
Her father, 75-year-old James Haller, Jr., was a manager at the store. He was working Wednesday night when two women entered the store and told a 20-year-old witness to get down. The suspects then demanded money from the cashier, who complied, and as they were leaving the store, Haller, Jr. emerged from a back room. Police say one of the suspects noticed Haller, Jr. and opened fire, striking him in the head. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Haller said she can’t believe someone would rob the store and then kill someone for so little.
“Y’all got the money, go! You got the money. His life was worth $100? $100,” she said. “He loved working here. They had no reason to take my daddy.”
Her father was working at the store, Haller said, to earn some extra money and stay busy after retiring from General Motors. The Vietnam veteran never complained to her about feeling unsafe at work and was always friendly with his customers.
“Everybody over there in the neighborhood knew him. Everybody knew him over there, Broadstreet. Everybody knew him from Joy Road to Collingwood. Everybody knew my dad,” she said. “They called him Big Diego. That’s his name, that’s what everybody called him.”
The suspects fled the scene in a burgundy-colored Chevy Suburban SUV with a passenger side, broken-out back window covered with plastic.
The first suspect, who shot Holler, Jr., is described as a black female with a dark complexion and 5’8″ tall with a skinny build. She was wearing all black clothing and armed with a black handgun. The second suspect is described as a short, heavy-set black female wearing all black clothing.
“I know somebody somewhere knows who them girls are. I know y’all know who they are,” Haller said. “Somebody knows who did this to my daddy. And I just ask for y’all to turn them in. Please, turn them in. Because they didn’t have to kill my daddy. They didn’t have to do that.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 313-596-5200. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.
Police initially identified the victim as being 69-years-old, but Haller tells WWJ he was actually 75.