Detroit is banning gas stations from locking customers inside, a year after a fatal shooting

DETROIT (AP) — The city of Detroit is taking steps to ban gas stations from locking people inside the store, a year after a man was fatally shot during an argument with another customer.

Police said a clerk’s decision to lock the door while he was safely behind protective glass contributed to the shooting.

An ordinance approved Tuesday by the Detroit City Council would make it illegal for employees to push a button to remotely lock the door. It would apply to businesses whose workers are protected by glass, The Detroit News reported.

“The goal of this is to ensure that we keep the threat outside the convenience store, gas station, liquor stores or party stores,” council member James Tate said.

In May 2023, the failure to complete a $3.80 electronic purchase led to violence.

Video showed Samuel McCray repeatedly cursing and insisting he was going to leave a gas station with the items. Three more people entered before clerk Al-Hassan Aiyash pushed a button to lock the door, keeping the four inside.

Those three people were shot, and one of them died. McCray is facing charges of murder and attempted murder. Aiyash is charged with involuntary manslaughter. Their cases are pending.

“If not for the fact that he locked the door, none of this would have happened,” Judge Kenneth King said of Aiyash.

Aiyash’s attorney said he didn’t know McCray had a gun when he locked the door.

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