Business owner found dead in lounge on Detroit's east side
DETROIT (WJBK) - Detroit police are investigating what appears to be a robbery that turned deadly at a bar on Detroit's east side.
Co-owner of the El Capri Lounge 60-year-old Michael Webb was killed Saturday as he was responding to a tripped security alarm just after 4:30 a.m. It happened at the El Capri Lounge on East Grand Boulevard, near Mount Elliott Street.
"There was some sort of confrontation between him and the burglar, who was still inside the business. It's not exactly clear right now, because it occurred off the camera, but the business owner did sustain some severe injuries that resulted in his death," says Detroit Police Capt. Andrew Guntzviller.
"Terrible man, walking in there seeing my friend like that. It was horrible man," says Andrew Snerling, owner of G.R. Security. He had known Webb for 30 years.
He was one of the people who found Webb's body Saturday night, about 15 hours after that deadly encounter. Snerling's company provides security services for El Capri Lounge, working alongside the bar's own security team.
He knew something was wrong when his employees showed up at the lounge for work. The doors were still locked and Webb's car was parked outside. His car was unlocked and all of his belongings were still inside.
"I told them, let's do a perimeter search, check all the garbage cans make sure everything good. So as we were doing the perimeter search one of my guys noticed a hole and called me. I immediately saw the back camera down, saw the light had been knocked out and saw another spot where they had tried to get in," says Snerling.
Police say the man in the video got inside the building by breaking a hole in the cinder block wall, which has since been boarded up. Police say he knew his way around the lounge and can be seen in the video crouch walking to avoid setting off the motion detectors.
"We're thinking this is somebody who may be a patron of the bar or, quite possibly, even an employee of the bar at one point. They were very familiar with the way the place was set up, possibly familiar with the alarm system," says Guntzviller.
Investigators say the suspect stole an undisclosed amount of money from the lounge. Businessman and community activist Oliver Gantt says he and others will put up reward money for information leading to an arrest.
"Mike was a great guy man and we don't want this to go in vain. We don't want this to become a cold case or anything of that nature and, because that brother was near and dear to me and my family, I don't have a problem putting the money up. I don't have a problem standing on this case; I don't have a problem assisting anybody on this case," Gantt says.
The man in the video appears to have a full beard and a muscular build.
If you recognize him or have any information about what happened at El Capri Lounge, please call the Detroit Police homicide tipline (313-596-2260) or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP, where you will be anonymous.