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Popular hairstylist from Bloomfield Township killed inside Detroit motel, police say

Bashar Kallabat killed by 24-year-old man, officials say

DETROIT – A popular hairstylist from Bloomfield Township was killed Tuesday night inside a motel in Detroit, according to authorities.

Bashar Kallabat, 56, was a beloved hairdresser in Metro Detroit, and those who knew him are in shock after learning of his death. Detroit police Chief James Craig said Kallabat was nationally known for his work.

Bashar Kallabat
Bashar Kallabat (WDIV)

Police said Kallabat checked into the JZ Motel and Suites on Eight Mile Road near Gratiot Avenue on Detroit’s east side around 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Another man used a ride-share company to get to the motel, police said. That man’s ride was paid for by Kallabat, according to authorities.

“We believe that the victim and suspect didn’t know each other," Craig said.

The 24-year-old man stayed at the motel for several hours after being dropped off. The manager of the motel said he got a call from an employee that something was wrong.

Members of the motel staff found Kallabat’s body, Craig said.

The motel is a Project Green Light partner, and cameras captured video of a man leaving Kallabat’s room around 9 p.m. Tuesday, according to officials. The man was wearing a very distinctive security guard jacket, and police were able to track and locate him within 12 hours of Kallabat’s death, police said.

Detroit police said they took the 24-year-old man into custody around 9:40 a.m. Wednesday. He is on probation for unarmed robbery dating back to 2017, Craig said.

The ATF assisted in the arrest.

Bashar Kallabat
Bashar Kallabat (WDIV)

“We want all to know he was so loved, impacted so many lives and was such a successful stylist and creative soul," his ex-wife, Kennice Kallabat, said in a statement. "We just can’t believe he is gone.”

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Detroit police at 313-596-2460 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP to remain anonymous.

Craig said there are dangers associated with ride-share companies. He said police have no way to track suspects through their rides if the payment comes from someone else. He warned residents not to pay for a stranger’s ride share and advised meeting in a public place and telling someone the location beforehand.

You can watch Craig’s full news conference below.


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