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2 in custody in connection with party store death

Ursula Watson
The Detroit News

Clinton Township —Two persons of interest are in custody in connection with the death of party store owner Emil Salem, who was killed during a robbery Thursday.

Captain Richard Maierle, of the Clinton Township Police Department said a male and female are in custody in Toledo. The male is in the hospital being treated for two gunshot wounds.

Salem, 50, owner of Bernie’s Market, was killed during a robbery late Thursday night, after wounding the robber during an exchange of gunfire.

Maierle said the male person of interest is being held on a warrant from the Michigan Department of Corrections for parole absconder.

The female is being held as an accessory after the fact and a warrant request will be presented to the Macomb County Prosecutor for her.

Shortly before midnight, officers from the Clinton Township Police Department responded to a hold-up alarm at store located in the 39900 block of Garfield near 17 1/2 Mile.

When they arrived, officers found the store owner had died after getting into a shootout with a robber. Store video cameras showed a man with his face covered entering the store with a gun.

Shots were exchanged and the man was wounded at least once and possibly twice. Police believe he escaped in a car that was parked behind the party store.

In late January, police arrested a man who had robbed four Clinton Township stores, including Bernie’s Market, over a four-hour period.

Salem’s death is an eerie and tragic marker of the nearly one-year anniversary of another area business owner who was also shot and killed during a robbery.

Basim Sulaka, another Clinton Township party store owner, was fatally shot on March 28, 2014. Sulaka was slain at the Moon Lite Party Store on Harper Avenue after robbers emptied the store’s cash registers. Four men were arrested and have been charged in his death.

uwatson@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2613