Detroit judge lowers bond for gas station clerk who locked customers inside during triple shooting

Dispute escalated resulting in 1 death

DETROIT – In a controversial court decision, the bond for the gas station clerk who was captured on camera locking customers inside with a gunman has been lowered.

The clerk, 22-year-old Al-Hassan Aiyash, is currently facing serious charges after an irate customer shot three customers, resulting in the death of one of them.

Judge Kenneth King, who made the decision to lower the bond, acknowledged that not everyone would approve of this change. However, he emphasized that the purpose of the bond is not to punish but to ensure the defendant’s appearance in court and to maintain community safety.

The shooting occurred on May 6 when Aiyash locked the gas station’s door during an argument with customer Samuel McCray, over a payment dispute involving $3.18 for donuts and iced tea. McCray’s debit card had been declined, escalating the situation.

Aiyash’s decision to lock the door also trapped three innocent customers inside as tensions escalated.

Read: Clerk who locked gunman inside Detroit gas station over $4 dispute charged in fatal shooting

The customers locked inside pleaded with Aiyash to release them, but according to prosecutors, McCray proceeded to shoot all three customers, killing 37-year-old Gregory Kelly.

Aiyash’s defense attorney argued that the clerk had simply followed the directives given by his gas station superiors, who instructed him to lock the door and call the police if any patron stole from the store.

The 22-year-old is now facing charges of involuntary manslaughter. The central issue under consideration is whether releasing Aiyash on bond poses a danger to others.

At the time of the incident, Aiyash was already out on bond for charges related to felonious assault and a felony gun crime stemming from a road rage incident.

Initially, the bond for the gas station incident was set at $200,000. However, during a review, a judge decided to lower it to $100,000.

Prosecutors argued that Aiyash posed a danger to others as he had exposed them to a man threatening violence, stating, “It is in that context when Mr. Aiyash decides it is somehow appropriate to lock that man in who is threatening to take human life in with three innocent customers who have nothing to do with the situation.”

Judge King further reduced the bond to $10,000 and placed Aiyash on house arrest. He explained that he had not heard anything from the gas station incident that led him to believe Aiyash would be a threat to others while confined to his home.

He stated, “I’m not here to punish him at this point in the proceedings; that’ll come later if it comes at all.”

Throughout the proceedings, Aiyash’s attorney repeatedly argued that the clerk had acted in accordance with his training by locking the door. This aspect forms the basis of a significant lawsuit filed by one of the men who was shot, who is suing both the gas station owners and Mobile for their policy of locking people inside.

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

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Morgan is a Digital Editor and has been with WDIV since May of 2022. She graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in political science and communication studies.