Detroit City Council considers new rules after deadly gas station shooting

Incident was started over $4 dispute

DETROIT – A deadly incident inside a Detroit gas station has city council considering new rules to protect customers.

It stems from a clerk’s decision to lock the doors, trapping customers inside when a man pulled out a gun during an argument.

They couldn’t escape, and all three innocent bystanders were shot. One of them died.

“Gas station owners, you are going to have to abide by the rule, not lock anyone in, or we will shut you down,” said Detroit City Council member Mary Waters.

Waters talked about gas station safety in Detroit Tuesday (May 30). She says that she herself has a strategy to ensure she is safe when filling up for gas.

“I sometimes look around me to see if I could see anything,” Waters said. “And I would encourage residents to do the exact same thing.”

The shocking shooting has Waters and Detroit City Council considering new rules for gas station owners.

The shooting occurred Saturday (May 6) at 3 a.m. in the 12800 block of West McNichols when Samuel McCray, 27, attempted to make a purchase inside the gas station.

When the purchase of under $4 was declined, McCray attempted to leave with the stolen items, which is when Al-Hassan Aiyash, 22, locked the store with McCray, Kelly, a 60-year-old man, and a 37-year-old man still inside.

The three innocent men repeatedly pleaded with Aiyash to unlock the door and let them out when McCray became agitated as he continued to argue with Aiyash before pulling out his gun.

Officials say Aiyash eventually pushed the security button to unlock the door but never told the victims as seconds later, McCray began shooting at the three men, killing Kelly and injuring the other two.

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. (WDIV)

Aiyash faces involuntary manslaughter charges for using the gas station’s automatic switch to lock the store’s door, placing the men in danger.

McCray was charged in the shooting.

Waters says locking anyone in a shop can’t happen again.

“That has to be stopped,” Waters said. “We cannot tolerate that. You cannot hold people as prisoners inside of your store. When somebody tells you, ‘If you don’t unlock the door, I’m going to start shooting, you better believe them because they are very serious about those kinds of things.”

Detroit man charged in gas station triple shooting

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.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.