Beloved party store owner killed in Clinton Township

Neighbors called him a friend and compared him to a brother but the party store owner in Clinton Township was gunned down after an attempted robbery, the second since the start of the year.

Emil Salem owned Bernie's Market in Clinton Twp. He was working inside Thursday night when a gunman walked in and started waving his gun around. Salem pulled his own out and the two exchanged shots. Both were shot but the suspect got away while Salem was killed. Chareise Miller doesn't know exactly who killed him, but has a few ideas.

"Probably someone from the neighborhood that knew him. A coward ." Miller sad.

Miller, along with others who knew Salem, came to his market to shed tears, leave flowers and remember the man they say wasn't just an owner, he was a friend. 

"We became good friends he was was like a brother. I just saw him Wednesday. I don't believe it," Miller said.

She wasn't alone.

"The other day I came in here, I came and talked to him. and he told me to have a good day at work," Trinia Harrington said.

This is not the first time Salem's market was confronted by a robber. In January, surveillance video shows a robber inside the market but this bad guy used a fake gun. Salem spoke to Fox 2 about the incident.

"By the time she turned around, he flashed his gun. He had it in his pocket but he showed it to her." Salem told us in January. 

Clinton Township's Supervisor Robert Cannon said this murder is very similar to one that happened last March. 

"When I first heard about this, my first thought was 'oh no not again' because exactly one year ago tomorrow we had another murder in Clinton Township at a party store on Harper Ave. The man's name was Basil, this man is Emil. It's eerily the same." Cannon said.

Township officials say the gunman who killed Salem lost a significant amount of blood and they believe his injury will lead investigators to him 

"Someone already knows something. Someone knows who this person is because that wound is significant," Cannon said.

Those who knew Salem say they hope the suspect pays for what he did

"The search  is on and we will not rest until suspect is brought into custody," Cannon said.
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