Person of Interest Arrested in Barbershop Slayings

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  • DETROIT (AP) — A convicted felon who was wearing body armor when police arrested him in a Detroit suburb will be questioned in an investigation into the fatal shooting of three men in a back gambling room of an east side barbershop.

    Detroit Police Chief James Craig described the man as a person of interest in Wednesday evening’s shooting at Al’s Barber Shop that left six other people wounded. Speaking at a Thursday news conference at police headquarters, Craig said the bloodshed may have stemmed from an ongoing feud.

    Craig did not name the person of interest and provided few details about the arrest. He said Rochester police picked up the man north of Detroit without incident on an unrelated felonious assault charge.

    “Police wear body armor. Why would a community member be driving around in body armor?” said Craig, who described the latest mass shooting in Detroit as “urban terrorism.”

    Craig said 20 to 30 people were gambling in a tiny back room at the barbershop in a strip mall shortly before 6 p.m. when shots were fired from a high-powered rifle through an open back door.

    When the gunfire began, the gamblers tried to escape the room through a door that led back into the barbershop, but that the jam of bodies prevented them from escaping.

    “The shooter struck nine of the individuals inside the location,” Craig said, adding that many people in the room were armed and at least one returned fire.

    “Officers were able to develop information that there was an ongoing feud between a particular individual and several members of the gambling party,” the chief said.

    Craig declined to say whether police think the person of interest is the shooter. But he would say that the shooter is suspected in at least two other violent crimes.

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