Four arrested in murder of Clinton Township party store owner

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published May 9, 2014


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Four men involved in the murder of party store owner Basim "Basil" Sulaka have been arrested.

Detroit residents Clinton Rayshawn Grayson, 24, and Darius Diaz Gaskin, 24, and Clinton Township resident Kenneth Hill, 26, were charged by the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office for identical counts of felony murder, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and felony firearm.

The murder, robbery and conspiracy counts are punishable up to life imprisonment, and the firearm charge would add a mandatory two years to the beginning of any sentence.

A fourth suspect, who was unnamed, was in custody at press time and was scheduled to be charged with the same crimes.

The charges stem from a March 28 robbery attempt that concluded in murder at the Moon Lite Party Store, located at 33452 Harper Avenue in Clinton Township, just north of 14 Mile Road.

According to a witness and security camera footage, three men entered the store that night around 11 p.m. and jumped over the counter. Two of the men emptied the cash registers and kept watch on the door while another shot Sulaka in the back with a 9 mm handgun. The suspects then fled on foot.

On May 9, the Clinton Township Police Department — with the assistance of the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department, Royal Oak Police Department, ATF, DEA and Violent Crimes Task Force — executed six search warrants in connection with the investigation.

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

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

Sulaka is survived by his wife and two daughters.

The defendants will be arraigned in 41-B District Court in Clinton Township, although no specific time or date was specified at press time.