Gas station clerk charged after locking armed man, victims inside store
DETROIT (FOX 2) - In a unique charging decision, a Detroit gas station clerk was arraigned on Friday on involuntary manslaughter charges after he locked three innocent shoppers inside a store with an armed man - who started shooting, killing one.
The 22-year-old clerk, Al-Hassan Aiyash, was arraigned on involuntary manslaughter charges for the May 6 triple shooting at the Mobil gas station on McNichols near the Lodge. The alleged shooter, Samuel McCray, was reportedly trying to leave with $4 worth of snack after his purchase was declined – but Aiyash is being accused of endangering the victims by locking the door.
"The concerning thing is whats turns into someone getting away with $5 in goods has turned into a homicide," said judge Malaika Ramsey-Heath during Aiyash's arraignment on Friday.
Aiyash, if convicted for the felony, faces a maximum penalty of 15 years after being charged with trapping the victims inside for 8 minutes, authorities said.
In surveillance video, you can hear them begging to be let out as the suspect gets angrier before the shooting.
"I've never seen this before. The theory is to hold him criminally responsible for the crime committed by someone he doesn't know," Aiyash's attorney Jamil Khuja said.
She said his actions were out of panic and weren't criminal.
"He calls police and locks the door so the thief can still be there when the police arrives," Khuja said.
Todd Perkins is not connected to the case but says, after considering the facts of the case, Prosecutor Kym Worth's decision to charge him with involuntary manslaughter fits.
"I think it's an acknowledgment by the prosector's office that these lives matter," Perkins said. "It is unique. It is something different and the fact it's different doesn't mean it shouldn't exist."
Judge Ramsey-Heath said that the decision to lock them inside the store may have led to the shooting.
"It was a participation in escalation in this situation and then locking the door while people were begging to be let out," Ramsey-Heath said.
Aiyash ws already out on bond for gun charges in a road rage incident. His bond was set at $200,000 cash, no surety.