Suspect held in slaying in Detroit after strip club confrontation, police say

Hannah Mackay
The Detroit News

Detroit — A suspect in the July 12 slaying of a man following an incident at a strip club on Eight Mile was arrested Monday, Detroit police announced Thursday.

The suspect was involved in a confrontation with the victim, Lamar Waller, at the Ace of Spades Gentlemen’s Club on Eight Mile. The dispute spilled over to a nearby parking lot, police said at an afternoon news conference at Detroit police headquarters on Wednesday. The suspect allegedly struck Waller with his car, said Detroit police Cmdr. Michael McGinnis.

Waller worked in security at the club, MLive reported. He died at a hospital about a week later, the news site said.

Bianca Waller, center, of Detroit speaks at a news conference about her husband, Lamar Waller, who was killed July 12. Waller's sister, Cassandra, left, and Detroit police Chief James White attend the news conference.

A Crime Stoppers tip led police to the suspect, McGinnis said.

The suspect, who hasn't been identified because he is not yet arraigned, faces charges of homicide, and resisting and obstructing in Southfield, said the city's police chief, Elvin Barren, who also attended the news conference.

"The father he was, the husband he was, he really is a person that so many will miss and I just don't know what my life would be like without him," said Waller's wife, Bianca Waller at the media briefing. "But this is a start to healing."

The suspect was arrested Monday after police learned he was a passenger in a car on the 20000 block of Greenfield Road in Southfield; Detroit police asked Southfield counterparts to help with his apprehension. 

"The Southfield officers initiated a traffic stop, at which time the female driver fled from the officers," said Barren.

Officers deployed a maneuver to end the pursuit, Barren said.

Detroit police Chief James White said he hoped bringing the man responsible for Waller's death to justice would help his family heal.

"Certainly this won't bring any closure to them, but it will allow for some healing," White said. "There will probably never be closure when you've lost a husband and father to a young family, but certainly, I'm very proud of the work that the men and women of both the Southfield Police Department and Detroit Police Department have done to assist in this family's healing."

Bianca Waller said it's been difficult for her and her two children in the aftermath.

"My daughter's birthday was just yesterday, so you can only imagine how hard that was to have a birthday without him here," she said. "My husband was a protector. He's a strong, strong man and I just hope to continue to carry his strength on, not only for myself, but for my kids."

White emphasized the importance of collaboration between police departments as well as Crime Stoppers, and the relationship of the community to police.

"We rely heavily on our community," White said. "We can't do the work that we all do in our collaboration without our community partnerships. That begins with trust, being able to know that we're going to do what we say we're going to do."