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‘He was magical’: Many in disbelief after nationally known hairstylist found beaten to death at Detroit motel

Bashar Kallabat had Bloomfield Township salon

DETROIT – Many people are mourning a well-known Bloomfield Township hairstylist after he was found dead at a Detroit motel Tuesday night.

Bashar Kallabat, 56, was a beloved hairdresser who was nationally known for his work.

He was killed Tuesday night inside a room at JZ Motel and Suites on Eight Mile Road near Gratiot Avenue. Police said he was beaten.

Kallabat’s family said he had plans to open a new salon. His salon partner, Shanon Neumann, was part of those plans. She was out of the country when she received a call that shocked her Wednesday morning.

“It’s very emotional right now,” Neumann said through tears. “He was an icon.”

Neumann said Kallabat was a mentor to many hairstylists. She described him as a good friend and an amazing father.

People who knew Kallabat said they were drawn to him for his creativity and kindness.

“He was magical. He was just a magical person, and his energy was just so uncanny,” Neumann said.

Bashar Kallabat
Bashar Kallabat (WDIV)

What happened

Police said Kallabat checked into the room about 6 p.m. The manager of the motel, Devin, said Kallabat was a regular at the east side motel.

Another man, who is 22, used a ride-share company to get to the motel, police said. That man’s ride was paid for by Kallabat, according to authorities.

MORE: Police say popular hairstylist likely met man who killed him on dating app

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

The other 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, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said. Police said he was killed by blunt force trauma.

Police said security video of the other man showed him wearing a distinctive security guard jacket. He was seen leaving Kallabat’s room around 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Police were able to track the man down to his job in Downtown Detroit. Officers took the 22-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.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Detroit police at 313-596-2260 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.


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