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Four Nabbed in Murder of Beloved Clinton Township Party Store Owner

Basil Sulaka was “a good, gentle person and a beloved neighborhood merchant” whose life was taken for change in a cash drawer, Macomb County prosecutor says in announcing Friday’s arrests.

Basim "Basil" Sulaka was shot during a robbery at the Moon Lite Party Store on March 28. Four people were arrested in connection with the crime on Friday, May 9. (Courtesy photo)
Basim "Basil" Sulaka was shot during a robbery at the Moon Lite Party Store on March 28. Four people were arrested in connection with the crime on Friday, May 9. (Courtesy photo)

Four men who Clinton Township’s chief of police alleged “tore a hole through our community” have been arrested in the March 28 murder of a much-loved proprietor of a party store.

In a news release, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office said the four suspects in the death of Basim "Basil" Sulaka have been charged with felony murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, all punishable by life in prison; a felony firearm offense that would add two years to the beginning of any sentence, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Arrested were Clinton Rayshawn Grayson and Darius Diaz Gaskin, both 24 and both of Detroit;  Kenneth Hill, 26, of Clinton Township; and a fourth suspect who has not been identified but will be charged with the same crimes, the prosecutor’s office said.

Police released surveillance photos of the suspects last month as part of their efforts to catch the suspects who entered the Moon Lite Party Store, 33452 Harper and shot Basim “Basil” Sulaka, 51, of Sterling Heights, during the robbery that occurred about 11 p.m. on March 28.

Police said three of the suspects jumped the counter after entering the store about 11 p.m. that night. Two of them emptied the cash register and kept watch while a third man shot Sulaka in the back with a 9mm handgun. They then took off on foot.

Sulaka, a husband and father of two daughters, had owned the store for about 18 years.

“Basim Sulaka was a good, gentle person and a beloved neighborhood merchant in Clinton Township,” Prosecutor Eric Smith said in the news release. “These men took his life for the change in a cash drawer. They must answer for this crime.”

Township Police Chief Fred Posavetz said in the release that “these men tore a hole in our community. Our department won’t rest until those responsible are convicted and punished for it.”

Assisting township police with the investigation were the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, Royal Oak police, the ATF, the DEA and the Violent Crimes Task Force. Six search warrants were served in Clinton Township, Detroit and Warren as part of the investigation.

The men are to be arraigned in 41B District Court in Clinton Township. The time and date have not been set.

Ball Python May 09, 2014 at 04:17 PM
I wonder if these guys were the same ones that tried to rob the workers at the Salvation Army store about a week after the shooting...
Shera Osier May 10, 2014 at 08:04 AM
Hope they not only rot in prison, and never see freedom again.
Laura Harrison May 10, 2014 at 12:05 PM
Were they caught Tuesday night in front of Jane Addams on Webster?

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