Detroit bans gas stations, other businesses from locking patrons inside

Gas stations and other businesses in Detroit, including those with bulletproof glass, will no longer be allowed to lock customers inside after a fatal incident that took place in 2023.

The May 2023 shootout took place inside a Mobil gas station at West McNichols and the Lodge Service Drive. Three people were struck by the gunfire. 

One of the victims, 37-year-old Gregory Karlos Kelly, was killed. 

Two men were charged in the shooting, including the clerk – who police say locked up the doors after the suspect threatened to steal some items worth about $4.

"They were begging ‘let me out, let me out!’" said Detroit City Council member Mary Waters after the vote on the door locking ban took place. "The purpose of this ordinance is to say ‘we’re not going to tolerate it.’ Gas stations, stores, whatever you are – you cannot lock your customers in when their life is at stake."

Several city lawmakers said they needed to act urgently after the 2023 shooting.

According to prosecutors, the suspect opened fire with no regard for the lives of the innocent bystanders who were trapped inside.

FOX 2 Detroit spoke with one of the survivors in the aftermath of it all.

"He was mad. Don’t shoot us, we don’t got nothing to do with this man," one of the victims said. "And my friend said something like ‘Man, he ain’t going to shoot us let us up out of here.’ And he started shooting!"

Meanwhile, supporters of the door locking ban say they expect other communities to make a similar policy in the name of public safety.

"This is a start here at the city council level… but I am encouraging, and I’m asking that the state legislature take this issue up – and the reason is because that penalty is not tough enough," Waters said.

Two survivors of the May 2023 shooting filed a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil and the owners of the gas station for $150 million.