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Detroit man, 21, back from Alabama to face murder charge in May gas station shooting

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Detroit — A 21-year-old man faces murder and gun charges related to a May 5 shooting on Detroit's west side, records show.

At about 11 a.m. that Tuesday, in the area of Fenkell and Fairfield, just west of Dexter, police said a young man, possibly in his late teens or 20s, drove up, got out of his vehicle, argued briefly with a 59-year-old man, Jeffrey Austin, then returned with a rifle and shot him.

May:Police seek tips in fatal Tuesday shooting on Detroit's west side

Six months later, Gary Lightfoot, 21, is in custody as he faces charges of first-degree premeditated murder and felony firearm. He had been charged in May, and on the run ever since.

Gary Lightfoot

Lightfoot was arraigned Tuesday by Magistrate Malaika Ramsey-Heath at Detroit's 36th District Court. Ramsey-Heath denied him bond.

The day after the fatal shooting, police asked for the public's help finding the alleged shooter. Six months later, Gary Lightfoot, 21, is charged with premeditated murder.

He's due back in court Nov. 24 for a probable cause conference and Dec. 1 for a preliminary examination, both before 36th District Judge Kenneth King.

The Detroit News reported earlier this month that federal law enforcement charged Lightfoot with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Earlier this month:Accused killer caught after applying for unemployment during pandemic

Lightfoot was charged with the homicide in May, but fled the area. As the U.S. Marshals Service searched for Lightfoot, in July he allegedly filed for unemployment, the feds claimed earlier this month. 

Authorities tracked Lightfoot to Alabama and arrested him there. 

Lightfoot had been in the Montgomery County Jail since Oct. 23 and waived extradition to Detroit on Oct. 26. He was supposed to be extradited within 10 days, a deadline that expired at midnight Friday.

Officials with the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office asked for more time but Alabama officials refused, according to the FBI affidavit.

The FBI agent learned about Lightfoot's impending release the night before, and prosecutors filed the unlawful flight charge that Friday. 

With Lightfoot back in Wayne County Jail as his case proceeds, the feds have dropped the charge.