Reward offered for tips about suspects in Hazel Park homicides

Cash also offered for cold case in Madison Heights murder

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison-Park News | Published July 27, 2022

 LEFT: Keko Martin RIGHT: Michael Hicks

LEFT: Keko Martin RIGHT: Michael Hicks


HAZEL PARK — Earlier this year, two men were shot dead in Hazel Park. One of the suspects is now in custody, with two men still on the run.

Now, there is a cash reward for anyone who can lead authorities to them.

Crime Stoppers of Michigan is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for any tips that help police find and arrest Keko Martin, 30, and Ricco Hicks, 31, both of Detroit. Tips are 100% anonymous and can be submitted online at, or by calling 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

Their accomplice, Michael Hicks, 39, is the brother of Ricco Hicks. Michael Hicks was arrested in February by deputies with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. He has been charged with first-degree homicide.

When reached by phone July 19, Michael Hicks’ attorney, Delicia Taylor Coleman, said, “There is no comment at this time, but we hope that justice will be done.”

Hazel Park Police Chief Brian Buchholz said that two of the men were shooters in the incident, while the other “assisted in carrying out the murders.” The chief did not specify which suspect is believed to have played each role.

The original incident occurred Jan. 14 at Timeless Gallery, located at 21502 John R Road in Hazel Park. The banquet hall was hosting an event memorializing a person who was killed last year in Detroit. Around 4:40 p.m. that day, a group of men approached a black 2018 Mercedes Benz in the parking lot where the victims — Eddie C. Matthews and Nathan E. Jacobs, both 29 and from Detroit — were sitting. The suspects reportedly brandished semiautomatic handguns and fired into the car, killing both men and causing bystanders at the business to flee.

“We believe this was a retaliation murder for a Detroit homicide,” Buchholz said via email, without elaborating on the Detroit homicide. “It is unfortunate that this event brought this tragic murder to Hazel Park. The team at the Hazel Park Police Department did an excellent job putting this case together to get the arrest warrants for these dangerous men. We hope that someone speaks up, and helps give information that will lead to their arrests.”

In Madison Heights, an unsolved homicide has also led to a cash reward.

A $12,500 reward is offered to anyone who can provide tips leading to the identification and arrest of the suspect responsible for the 2012 murder of Clarence Tariq Hammond III. The reward total includes $5,000 from the Michigan Department of Corrections, where Hammond worked as a corrections officer, as well as $5,000 from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and $2,500 from Crime Stoppers of Michigan.

In Hammond’s case, he was killed the night of Jan. 13, 2012, after clocking out of his job at the MDOC in New Haven around 10 p.m., and pulling into the parking lot of his home at the President Madison Apartment Complex, located off Harlo Drive east of John R Road between 13 Mile Road and Whitcomb Avenue in Madison Heights.

Hammond and his girlfriend were allegedly attacked by an unknown suspect, described by the girlfriend in her eyewitness report as a Black man who was in his early 30s at the time of the incident. The man was reportedly dressed all in black, with a medium to heavy build, standing about 5 feet 10 inches tall. The suspect allegedly knocked Hammond to the ground and shot him in the head before fleeing in a gray or dark-colored minivan.

Hammond was 33 at the time of his death, and left behind two sons, who were ages 4 and 5, respectively. They are now in their early teens. Hammond had worked at the MDOC for six years. He was a 2000 graduate of Ferris State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and had pledged membership to Iota Phi Theta fraternity.

“He was just such an active father,” Reola Hammond, Hammond’s aunt, said back in 2015. “The schools knew him; he’d go over and do readings to them. He taught elementary school at a charter school in Detroit for a couple years prior to becoming a corrections officer. He had told his dad he was thinking about going back to grad school, so he could pursue a full teaching career.”

She also mentioned at the time the huge positive impact Hammond had on many of the inmates at the MDOC, who shared their appreciation in a letter passed along by a chaplain at the funeral service. Many reportedly connected with Hammond because he treated them like people. 

Tips for the Hammond case can also be directed to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.