$10,000 Reward Offered For Tips In Fatal Shooting Outside Detroit Liquor Store

77-year-old Lewis Putrus was killed outside of D & D Liquorland on Saturday.

WWJ News
September 23, 2019 - 8:48 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) --  A reward is being offered after a man was robbed and killed outside a family member's party store on Detroit's west side. 

Authorities say 77-year-old Lewis Putrus was leaving D and D Liquorland on Schoolcraft Street, west of Greenfield Road, just after 11 p.m. Saturday night, when he was robbed and shot. The store is owned by his brother.

The Midwest Independent Retailers Foundation is offering a $10,000 reward for tips that lead to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the shooting.

Authorities say as Putrus left the store, one suspect came from around the corner, pulled out a gun and demanded money. Police say Putrus did what he was told and the suspect then turned to a 56-year-old witness who was also outside the store and demanded money from him. That's when a second suspect came from around the corner of the building towards Putrus. The witness told police he heard two or three gunshots. 

Both suspects fled the location, police said. One went back around the corner of the building while the other ran west on Schoolcraft. A handgun was recovered near the victim’s body. Putrus was pronounced dead at the scene.

MIRF, the non-profit arm of the Midwest Independent Retailers Association (MIRA), has offered rewards for members who have been killed in the past, including Fred Dally, who was killed outside his business, The Medicine Chest, in 2012.

MIRA president and Auday Arabo says they have seen too many killings of members who are "trying to operate an honest business."

"These senseless killings need to stop," Arabo said in a statement. "Why can’t these criminals take the money and just go? Many store owners help out a lot of their customers in the neighborhoods; they serve and give or loan money at various times when people are in need. There was no reason to kill this 77-year-old grandfather of 10."

Police are still investigating Saturday's shooting. MIRF says the $10,000 reward would be paid after an arrest and conviction.

Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call Detroit Police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.