DETROIT, MI — State Sen. Bert Johnson in a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday paid tribute to a Detroit store owner who was killed in a robbery last year.
Johnson called Faraj “Fred” Dally a cornerstone of the community where he owned the Medicine Chest liquor store for over 30 years.
He said Dally was an immigrant entrepreneur from Iraq who became an extended family member to many in the area before being gunned down as he opened his store one morning.
“If you grew up on Dexter Boulevard, you knew that Fred was a fixture,” Johnson said.
“You knew that if you were a working parent, you could actually go to Fred and Fred would make a way for you to make it to your next check. You knew that if you had children in private school and it had become tough to make your tuition payment, you knew Fred would help see you through. You knew that if you had a community organization that needed a little bit of help, a little kick, an extra something, that Fred would see you through.
“You knew that if you experienced tragedy in your family, that Fred would be there to mourn with you.”
Dally was shot to death May 1, 2012 in a robbery outside the store at the corner of Dexter Avenue and Boston Boulevard.
“If on the last night that Fred closed his store,” Johnson said, “if I just bumped into him, if I had occasion to meet with him as he locked his door for what would have been the last time, I would have told him ‘Fred, go home. You’ve done enough. You don’t have to come back.
“The reason I would have told him that is because There was nothing left alive on Dexter Boulevard except for his store. He was the life.
Johnson (D-Detroit) and state House Rep. Klint Kesto (R-Commerce Twp.) presented the tribute with Dally’s family in Lansing.
No arrests were ever announced in the case, despite a $50,000 reward that was offered for information.
MLive Capitol reporter Jonathan Oosting contributed to this report.