Reward increased for information in Coney Island owner's death in Southwest Detroit

Frano Juncaj, 58, killed Sept. 1

By Lauren Podell - Reporter

DETROIT - Police are asking the public for assistance in identifying a Coney Island restaurant owner’s killer.

Frano Juncaj, 58, was killed Sept. 1 at the restaurant at the corner of Schaefer Highway and South Ethel Street. He was shot once in the chest and was found by the front door.

Juncaj ran the family business with his brother, Tony Juncaj, for more than 35 years. They immigrated to the U.S. in 1975.

“We were always concerned about his safety because this is such a tough area but he always told us never to worry because he was so loved by the community and he loved them back,” said Nicholas Juncaj, son of the victim.  

Police said it appears to be an attempted robbery but nothing was taken. Police believe the shooter may have panicked or knew the victim.

“Every day I tell my daughter, who my father never met, what a great man he was,” Nicholas said.  

Police said the restaurant was full at 8:30 a.m., but there may have been a lull in the morning rush when the shooting occurred at about 9:30 a.m.

“He was always so positive, he could always put a smile on some ones face,” said the vicitm's brother, Jack Juncaj. “After 36 years, we decided to close the restaurant, we felt it couldn’t go on without him.”         

Juncaj was married for over 31 years and was a father to two sons and a daughter. He never got the chance to meet his granddaughter, who was born 10 days before his death.           

Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-773-2587 or submit a tip online.

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