DETROIT (WWJ) – Police now have a man and woman in custody in connection with the murder of an O’Reilly Auto Parts store manager in Detroit.
Police Chief James Craig told reporters that 23-year-old Shawnta Anderson, arrested Monday night, is believed to be the person who shot 69-year old James Haller during a robbery at the store on the city’s west side.
It’s believed that the second suspect in custody — a 39-year-old man arrested on traffic warrants Tuesday — was an accessory to the crime. His name was not immediately released.
Police said Anderson and an accomplice walked into O’Reilly Auto Parts on Schaefer Road last Wednesday and demanded money from a female store clerk. The store’s manager, James Haller, Jr. — a Vietnam Veteran and former Reserve Detroit Police Officer — was shot in the head when he approached the women to see what was going on.
WWJ’s Zahra Huber reported there were some emotional moments during Thursday’s news conference.
Craig credited tips from the public for the arrests.
Haller’s widow, Patrica began to sob while thanking police, and others, for their efforts.
“…Just thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus! Thanks you Jesus that they got them,” she said. “That’s all I wanted was them to get them. I just…I just love y’all. I can’t say nothing else right now.”
Added Haller’s son, Chris Pasha, “I wanna thank everybody that…stepped up in my city. And it showed that we can come together, and we can help people that are in need.”
Police are continuing to search for two additional suspects still at large. One of those suspects has been identified as 28-year-old Eboni Mcewen-Ross, who may have fled the state. Craig said the second is the person who drove the getaway car. He or she has not yet been identified.
Charges against the two in custody are pending.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Detroit Police Department at 313-596-2260 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP. Tips may also be submitted online at this link, or by texting CSM and the tip to CRIMES (2746370). As always, tipsters may stay 100 percent anonymous, will not be asked their name, to speak to police or to testify in court.