Unknown Gezim Vukcaj Killer- Michigan- 2008 Mar 28, 2016 10:16:46 GMT -5
Post by Scumhunter on Mar 28, 2016 10:16:46 GMT -5
(Above photo credit: Crime Stoppers of Michigan website)
The murder of a 32-year old Albanian native in Clinton Township, Michigan, has now gone unsolved for over 8 years. I was able to find an article from the year of the murder which although admittedly is eight years old I feel is still well detailed:
"Clinton Township police hope a $6,000 reward will help loosen lips and provide tips to solve what they believe was a revenge slaying of a 32-year-old Albanian man who was gunned down in January outside of a crowded concert hall.
Gezim Vukcaj of Clinton Township was shot Jan. 28 in the back of his head while sitting in the driver's seat of his yellow 2006 Hummer that was parked next to the Imperial Hall banquet facility on Groesbeck Highway near 15 Mile.
Investigators believe Vukcaj was killed execution-style in retaliation for another shooting, but have been unable to nail down their case due to the reluctance of members of the Albanian community to get involved.
"They handle their own problems," said Detective James Hall.
The victim's relatives last week declined to speak with a reporter about the unsolved slaying, indicating they were in fear of retaliation.
According to police Vukcaj's life came to an end on a cold winter night as he sat in his vehicle after leaving a concert performed by Albanian singers after he had earlier attended a funeral in Southfield.
Vukjac, a divorced construction painter, left the concert about 1 a.m. and walked to his vehicle, which was registered in his uncle's name and was parked in the Tandem Tires parking lot next to the concert hall. He parked there because the banquet hall lot was congested.
Authorities know he had been inside the hall because he had an ink stamp on his hand indicating he had paid to attend the show.
At some point, someone approached him on the driver's side while holding a 9mm semi-automatic handgun while another person stood on the passenger side of the vehicle, police said.
As Vukcaj tried to get out of the car, he suffered a gunshot to the head.
An autopsy later revealed he died from a single bullet wound to the head fired from a distance of about three feet away.
"When Vukcaj turned to the right to see who it was, he was shot," said Hall. "He fell down to the right. We believe from the trajectory of the bullet Vukcaj was turning when he was shot."
Investigators have ruled out robbery because they found $400 in cash, jewelry and a cell phone on the victim's body.
A passerby saw Vukcaj's vehicle with the doors open at midnight. When the same passerby drove by the hall an hour later he noticed that the doors were still open and he thought something was strange.
He called 911 and police found the body.
A surveillance camera videotape reviewed by police shows two vehicles - a sports utility vehicle and a dark-colored sedan - pulled into the Imperial Hall parking lot moments before Vukcaj was shot.
Police don't know if the occupants of the car saw anything, but they would like to speak with them.
They also would like to speak to others from the Albanian community who may have additional information but so far few have cooperated with the investigation.
Police have adopted a couple of working theories and internally identified potential suspects.
One possible theory is Vukcaj was killed in retaliation for the death of a restaurant owner who police believe was shot by a relative of the victim in May 2004. Drugs may also be involved, police said.
His 31-year-old cousin, Kin Vukcaj, was named in an arrest warrant in connection with the shooting of Ardijan Mitaj, the former owner of a Hamtramck restaurant. Mitaj's two brothers and three cousins also were shot in that incident but both survived their wounds.
According to police, Kin Vukcaj immediately fled to Canada within an hour of the shooting and then flew to Bosnia. He has been transient, avoiding detection from authorities overseas.
Police believe Mitaj was killed over a squabble over Gezim Vukcaj's ex-wife because he allegedly was having an affair with her. The former wife and the couple's child returned to Albania in 2004 after that incident.
Mitaj once operated a restaurant in Sterling Heights and then closed it and opened a restaurant on Conant Avenue in Hamtramck.
Police believe the suspect in Mitaj's 2004 murder lives in northern Albania south of Montenegro. Police said the suspect is a self-employed carpenter.
The FBI, in cooperation with the Bosnian police, has searched the area without success. The language barrier between local and Bosnian police has been a problem.
According to police drugs have been rumored as a factor in both slayings.
Hall said the second slaying may be in retaliation for Mitaj's death. He said police have been told that it doesn't matter who dies, as long as someone in the shooter's family pays for the crime to uphold the family's honor.
A $6,000 reward has been established for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Vukcaj's killer. Anyone with information on the slaying is asked to call Hall (586) 493-7857 or Crimestoppers at (800)773-2587."
Thoughts? It should be noted that according to the Crime Stoppers of Michigan website, the reward for information is now up to $7,500. A printable information flyer can be seen at the following link: www.1800speakup.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Gezim-Vukcaj-11-x-17-POSTER-final.pdf
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