Clerk Who Locked Door to Face Trial in Gas Station Shooting

3 people locked in with gunman were shot
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2023 3:14 PM CDT
Updated Jun 6, 2023 6:12 PM CDT
Dispute Over Failed $4 Purchase Leaves 1 Dead
Al-Hassan Aiyash, center, leaves a court with his attorney Ben Gonek on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, in Detroit, Michigan. A judge ordered Aiyash to trial on an involuntary manslaughter charge.   (AP Photo/Ed White)
UPDATE Jun 6, 2023 6:12 PM CDT

A judge on Tuesday ordered a Detroit gas station clerk to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter, saying his decision to lock the door and then taunt an angry customer contributed to the fatal shooting of a bystander. Aiyash, 22, was working behind protective glass on May 6 when a customer's failed attempt to make a $3.80 electronic purchase turned into violence. Video shows Samuel McCray repeatedly cursing and insisting he was going to leave the gas station with the items. Three more people entered before Aiyash pushed a button to lock the door, keeping the four inside. Two men who were subsequently shot testified that McCray threatened to shoot everyone, the AP reports. "If not for the fact that he locked the door, none of this would have happened," the judge said of Aiyash's actions. Aiyash finally unlocked the door just seconds before a third man, Greg Kelly, was shot and killed.

May 10, 2023 3:14 PM CDT

A man who wanted to make a small purchase could end up paying a hefty price. Prosecutors say Samuel McCray, 27, tried to purchase items worth less than $4 at a Detroit gas station around 3am Saturday, but the electronic purchase failed, reports the AP. He allegedly tried to exit with the items, prompting the clerk to lock the door, the prosecutor’s office said. David Langston tells Fox 2 Detroit that he and his best friend happened to stop at the store at the same time to get cigarettes after a Cinco de Mayo celebration—and found themselves trapped inside with an irate would-be customer who started threatening to shoot if the door wasn't unlocked.

"We were like let us up out of here, we don't have anything to do with this" Langston recounts. "And my friend said something like, 'Man, he ain’t gonna shoot us, let us up out of here.' And he started shooting." Langston's 37-year-old friend, Carlos Kelly, was killed. Langston, also 37, was wounded, along with a 60-year-old man. "After the men were shot, the clerk unlocked the door to the store, and McCray fled from the scene,” the prosecutor’s office said. McCray was charged with murder and attempted murder and is being held without bond. (More Detroit stories.)

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