Clerk who locked doors over $4 dispute before deadly shooting at Detroit gas station arraigned

Detroit gas station clerk charged with involuntary manslaughter

DETROIT – A Detroit clerk has been arraigned after officials say he locked the doors of the gas station where he worked because of a $4 dispute, trapping innocent customers inside with a gunman and contributing to a situation that led to a deadly shooting.

Prosecutors said Al-Hassan Aiyash, 22, was working as the clerk at a gas station at 3 a.m. May 6 in the 12800 block of West McNichols Road. Samuel McCray, 27, went inside and tried to make a purchase for $4, according to authorities.

McCray’s card was declined, and he tried to leave with the items anyway, officials said. Aiyash locked McCray inside the store, along with himself and three other people: a 60-year-old man, a 37-year-old man, and 37-year-old Gregory Kelly.

Prosecutors said the three men who weren’t involved in the dispute pleaded with Aiyash to unlock the door and let them out. McCray continued to argue with Aiyash about the $4 purchase, got agitated, and pulled out a gun, according to authorities.

Aiyash eventually pushed the security button to unlock the door, but he didn’t tell the others that the door was open, officials said. Moments later, McCray fired shots at the three innocent customers, killing Kelly and injuring the others, police said.

Officers found Kelly and the other 37-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds when they arrived at the gas station. The 60-year-old man had already left the gas station and gone to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Aiyash was charged Thursday, May 18, with involuntary manslaughter, which is a 15-year felony.

Prosecutors accuse Aiyash of causing Kelly’s death by locking the door to the only exit and preventing the innocent customers from escaping a dangerous situation.

“The allegations of the defendant locking the door of the store and not heeding the pleas of the men to be released led to tragic consequences in this case,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said.

On Friday morning, Aiyash was arraigned at 36th District Court and given a $200,000 cash bond. If released, he must wear a GPS tether and submit to home confinement.

A bond redetermination hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. May 23. His probable cause conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. June 2, and his preliminary examination is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. June 9.

McCray has been charged with first-degree murder, felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of assault with intent to murder, and three felony firearm violations.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.