DETROIT – New video shows the terrifying moments before three people were shot inside a Detroit gas station as they frantically tried to get out and get to safety, but the clerk didn’t unlock the door.
Police say the argument between a customer and a gas station clerk led him to shoot three random customers.
The argument was allegedly over four dollars, and as it escalated, the clerk hit a button, locking the doors and leaving the three other customers with no way out.
Shortly after, bullets started flying, leaving one dead and two others injured.
The big question was whether the clerk should be held liable for the situation.
A moment of the shooting can be seen in the video above. With information suggesting the clerk locked customers in the shop while the gunman opened fire, Local 4 questioned legal experts to see if the clerk should be held accountable.
“Apart from the legal component, it is just so inhumane,” said legal expert Neil Rockind.
The shooting occurred Saturday (May 6) at 3 a.m. in the 12800 block of West McNichols when Samuel Anthony McCray, 27, attempted to make a purchase inside the gas station.
When the four-dollar purchase was declined, the 27-year-old tried to leave with unpaid items.
Prosecutors say the clerk, behind protective glass, argued over four dollars worth of items with McCray as he locked the store’s door, trapping the three innocent customers inside with the shooter.
Prosecutors say McCray clarified that he would shoot the three innocent customers if the clerk did not unlock the door.
Security footage showed the three customers begging the clerk to let them out, but the door remained locked before the three victims were shot, killing 37-year-old Gregory Kelly.
McCray was arrested on Sunday (May 7) and later charged with first-degree murder, two counts of assault with intent to murder, and three counts of felony firearm and felon in possession of a gun.
But could the clerk be charged as well?
“The clerk locked those people in as they were begging to get out, locked them in with something that he knew or should have known was life-threatening, and it was that clerk has real liability in criminal court and civil court,” Rockind said. “They are banging on the door to let them out. It is unconscionable.”
The clerk has not been arrested nor charged, but police say everything was under investigation.
We asked the Wayne County Prosector’s Office if they were expecting any warrant requests for the clerk, and we are still waiting to hear back.
The other two victims were a 60-year-old man and a 37-year man from Detroit.
One of the men who was shot three times blamed McCray and the clerk for what happened to him and the other two victims.