5 charged in connection with Farmington Hills hookah lounge shooting

Hani Barghouthi
The Detroit News

Farmington Hills — Four adults and a minor were arrested in connection with a Jan. 29 shooting that injured two people inside a hookah store, police announced Wednesday.

Devonte Johnson, a 28-year-old resident of Detroit, is accused of shooting one victim in the groin and the other in the thigh, Farmington Hills Police chief Jeff King said at a press conference Wednesday.

One of the victims intervened to try and stop the attack when the other victim fell to the ground after Johnson allegedly punched him in the back of the head, King added. 

Johnson, who is on federal probation, was arrested by U.S. Marshals on Feb. 2 after a tip to the police, and he was arraigned on Feb. 4 on two counts of assault causing great bodily harm, three counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony and one count of felony firearm. Bond for Johnson was denied, police said.

A second suspect, 17, a Wayne County resident, is accused of handing Johnson the gun he used to shoot the victims, King said. 

The minor was arrested by U.S. Marshals the following day on Feb. 3, and a juvenile petition was issued for one count of carrying a concealed weapon and one count of accessory after the fact. The petition hearing was held Saturday, and he was ordered to be transferred to Wayne County Juvenile Court. 

Police were alerted to the incident by security staff when the two victims sought medical attention for gunshot wounds in an area hospital, King said, and officers identified Vibe Hookah Lounge, located at 32617 Northwestern Highway, as the site of the incident. 

The victims were both treated for their wounds and released from the hospital, King said. 

A search warrant was then obtained, and police investigation showed that patrons and employees of the lounge were armed with firearms, King said. Lounge staff are accused of cleaning up the crime scene and leaving the scene with evidence they collected. 

Amar Sinawi, owner of the hookah lounge, was arraigned and charged with one count of tampering with evidence and one count of lying to a police officer. The 49-year-old West Bloomfield resident was released on a $50,000 cash bond and ordered not to return to the lounge. 

Three Vibe employees were also charged in connection to the incident. Baher Hanna, 37 of Novi is accused of possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and tampering with evidence. Hilal Haio, 50 of Walled Lake and Viktor Keqaj, 32 of Farmington Hills are both accused of tampering with evidence.

All three posted bond, and along with Johnson and Sinawi are expected to appear before Judge James Brady of the 47th District Court on Feb. 14.