Man stabs fellow bar-goer after flaunting his supposed lottery winnings. Then, he takes his own life.
According to Public Safety Director Paul Myszenski of the Center Line Public Safety Department officials in Michigan, a man claimed he won a lottery and shot an acquaintance after he came in for a few drinks at Te Roma Grill and Beergarden on Van Dyke Avenue, south of 10 Mile Road. A short time later, he was found dead in his home.
The suspect allegedly told approximately three dozen patrons and employees at the bar he had come into some money. He proceeded to ask for top shelve drinks, buy rounds, tip generously, and order the highest priced steak on the menu. Employees noted they saw him and another man come into the bar together and stay about an hour before the incident.
None of the customers appeared to be interested in the man’s offer to share his wealth, although he repeatedly tried to solicit many guests, Myszenski said. Then, one customer stepped outside to smoke a cigarette and the suspect did, too.
“The other guy said, ‘I’m not interested.’ The suspect got a little angry. As the victim started walking into the bar, he was shot in the back by the suspect,” Myszenski said.
The bullet ruptured one of the victim’s lungs and exited through his chest, according to the police report. Then, the man, said to be in his 20s, stumbled back inside to report what had happened while the suspect fled the scene. He was still conscious when paramedics arrived and was transported to Ascension Hospital in nearby Warren. The man gave the suspect’s phone number to police, and they were able to link it to a Warren home only one mile from the bar.
With assistance from Warren police, Center Line investigators tracked the phone to a home on Dale Avenue in Warren, the police stated. Detectives prepared a search warrant for the home and arrived with it just before 2:00 A.M. The suspect’s mom answered the door and proceeded to tell officers her son was in the basement. They entered, and he was found dead in the basement from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Myszenski said, “As far as we know, the mom didn’t hear anything.”
Police discovered in interviewing the bar’s owner and staff that the men arrived there together and were having a good time, laughing, drinking together, and playing the jukebox, according to the police. There seemed to be no indication of any animosity between the two. It was the first time anyone had noticed the men there.
“They weren’t arguing. They were getting along well together, playing the jukebox together,” said owner Doug Sills. “The suspect had flaunted that he had money, asked for the most expensive vodka and highest-price steak, paid for rounds of drinks, picked up some customers’ tabs and tipped generously, all in cash. He mentioned something about hitting the lottery. He mentioned something about hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
After the victim was shot, Sills added, “One of my customers brought [him] a towel and kind of put it on the wound. EMS was there in no time flat.”
The bartender had noted the suspect was 33 when his ID was checked prior to being served. Police are still investigating whether the man had actually hit the lottery.
Sills said the incident was “by far the most bizarre occurrence at Te Roma” he had experienced in his his 37 years as the owner.