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The Journal Gazette

  • The family of Aaron Beasley, who was shot in Detroit on Oct. 25, came to Fort Wayne on Monday to plead for help identifying a suspect believed to be in Fort Wayne. From left are Keith Beasley, father; Sydney Beasley, sister; and Tina Beasley, mother. (Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 1:00 am

Local help sought in Detroit slaying

2 arrested here; 3rd person might be in city

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Keith Beasley called his son Oct. 25 to say he'd just purchased the building the two had been using to run a mentoring program for young people in Detroit.

They were going to celebrate with pizza. That was the plan.

Hours after that call was made, Aaron Beasley, 29, was dead. He was shot to death inside his home on Detroit's southwest side in what an investigator would call “a robbery gone sideways.”

“It's ironic the youth he tried to teach, tried to save, ended up taking his life,” Aaron's father said Monday in a news conference at the Fort Wayne Police Department.

Two Fort Wayne men – Quantry Brown, 18, and Lamont Carpenter, 20 – were arrested here in December in connection with the killing. Brown is still in custody in Michigan. Charges against Carpenter were dropped, but investigators say the investigation is ongoing and he could still face charges.

A third man fired the shots that killed Aaron, police say, and he might be in Fort Wayne. Investigators have little to go on, other than a grainy surveillance photo taken outside the apartment building the night Aaron was killed.

James Kraszewski, a detective with the Detroit Police Department's homicide unit, asked Monday for the public's help to identify the man in the photo. Police don't know the man's name, and they don't know for sure that he is in Fort Wayne – but it is likely, he said.

The shooter is described as a heavyset black man, about 5-foot-11 to 6-foot-1. The 18- to 20-year-old has a mustache and “some hair on his chin,” Kraszewski said.

“He's dangerous. He really is,” the detective said. “It wasn't just one shot, it was multiple shots that ended (Aaron's) life.”

Police say the alleged shooter, Brown and Carpenter met Aaron through social media. They wanted to buy some marijuana, which Aaron had a license to sell, and agreed to drive to Detroit to pick it up.

The deal then turned deadly, Kraszewski said.

“What happened to him should not have happened,” he said.

Beasley, who wore a button with Aaron's picture, said his son attended Michigan State University and was working hard to help youths in Detroit.

Aaron's sister Sydney sat with her father and the detective inside Fort Wayne Police Chief Steve Reed's office. His mother, Tina, also attended the news conference Monday.

“I never thought I'd be sitting at this table, making this kind of statement,” Keith Beasley said.

Tina Beasley sat by herself, sobbing – away from cameras recording her husband's pleas for help to find their son's killer. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers of Michigan at 1-800-SPEAK-UP (773-2587) or Fort Wayne police at 427-1222.