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'Protect the people': 2 Detroit liquor stores hire security for customers

Liquor store
Posted at 10:43 PM, Jan 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-09 11:49:56-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — A week has passed and there are still no answers after a tragic shooting outside a liquor store on Detroit's east side.

It was just before 11 p.m. on Dec. 28, 2022 when 53-year-old Tracie Golden stopped by Beverage One at E. Outer Drive and E. Warren Avenue for some pop and juice. As she was returning to her car, an unknown man walked up and shot her, emptied her pockets and stole her car.

Golden later died at the hospital.

“My reaction is that can’t happen here. No way, no way possible,” said Travis Brewer, co-owner of Kelley’s Corner The People’s Store, a liquor store on the west side.

Brewer along with his brother and business partner Tyson Kelley were both shaken by the brazen killing across town.

“Anytime you see something happen to anybody anywhere, it concerns us, especially when it’s in the community we service," Kelley said. "But when we recognize and realize it’s the same type of business we have, it hits home.”

With encouragement from the community group New Era Detroit, the brothers hired security to work their store every evening. They're working not just inside but also outside the store, walking customers to and from their cars.

“Not that we can prevent everything from happening, but we want you to know that you’re safe when you come to the Peoples Store,” Kelley said.

Inner City Liquor on Harper on the city’s east side is also joining in, announcing they’ll hire security on weekends.

“He’ll (security guard) be able to walk customers to their cars and we’ll keep an eye on cameras to make sure customers are safe,” Inner City Liquor owner Nate Stuart said. “Works for me because it keeps my building safe, keeps my customers safe and it works for the customers also because it makes sure they’re safe."

Customers at Inner City Liquor were thankful they'll soon have someone watching their back.

“It's really dangerous around here and security, especially for women, that's a good job,” customer Teresa Melhouse said. “We’ll be coming to this store because it’s safe now.”

In the weeks to come, the stores hope more Black-owned liquor stores join them in helping customers feel safer across the city.

“So far it’s two, but we've got other Black-owned liquor stores that are going to participate,” Stuart said. "We all getting together and trying to keep the crime down in the city.”

“We're making all this money in our communities, we have to give back and protect the people in our communities and making sure they’re OK,” Brewer said.

Police are still asking the community for help in solving the murder of Tracie Golden. If you have any information, you can contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.