Suspect in Dearborn shooting charged with murder

Photo courtesy of the Dearborn Police Department Robert Gonzalez

Photo courtesy of the Dearborn Police Department
Robert Gonzalez

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office approved murder charges against a 38-year-old Westland man for the Feb. 23 shooting death of Dearborn resident Ismaeel Abdulla.

Robert Gonzalez was arraigned on Feb 27 in front of 19th District Court Judge Sam Salamey for first degree murder, felony firearm, felon in possession of a firearm and being a four-time habitual offender. He was remanded to Wayne County Circuit Court jail without bond.

A probable cause hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. March 9 and a preliminary examination of the evidence against Gonzalez is set for 9 a.m. March 16.

Abdulla, 37, was shot about 8 p.m. outside his apartment in the area of Whittington and Canterbury.

Once at the scene, officers observed Abdulla had suffered an apparent gunshot wound to the head, a police press release said. First responders provided care to Abdulla, but he died as a result of his injuries.

During the preliminary investigation, detectives were able to identify Gonzalez as a suspect, along with the vehicle he was driving, to make an arrest at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 24.

Dearborn detectives worked with the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office to locate the vehicle which led them to an address in a Madison Township housing community.

When Dearborn officers and the Michigan State Police Emergency Support Team arrived at the scene, Gonzalez fled on foot.

After a brief foot chase he was apprehended at a parking lot off U.S. 223, according to the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office.

“Based upon preliminary interviews it appears that the parties involved are acquaintances,” the Dearborn police press release read. “This is still an active investigation. We will submit our investigation to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office to determine what charges, if any; will be brought against the suspect involved in this incident.”

Abdulla’s family viewing took place on Feb. 25 at Chase Verheyden Funeral Home, 7100 Michigan Ave. and he was buried at Woodmere Cemetery, 9400 W. Fort St., both in Detroit.

A GoFundMe account has been set up for funeral expenses and support for Abdulla’s wife and three children. To donate go to www.bit.ly/ismaeel.

“While this incident remains a tragedy for the entire community, I am grateful for the tremendous efforts of our department that resulted in the quick arrest of Gonzalez with no one else being harmed,” Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)