Pontiac police continue their search for potential suspects and a clear motive in a double homicide at a tire shop-the first homicide of the new year in this Detroit suburb.
Richard F. Cummings, 57, and Steven Putman, 33, were found shot to death in the back of City Tire Co. the morning of Jan. 7, police said. Mr. Cummings owned the Uniroyal tire shop, and Mr. Putman was an employee.
According to police, a customer knocked on the door of the shop but got no response and later found the victims. The business usually opens at 9 a.m., and the customer contacted police about 10:30 a.m.
Sgt. Robert Ford, spokesman for the police department, said it is unclear if robbery had been the motive in the killings.
``Right now we just don't know,'' he said. ``We're continuing to follow up on all the information we do get.''
Police interviewed one person, who was released, and are looking for another person of interest. But he had not been found as of Jan. 14.
For now, the tire store remains closed. Mr. Ford said he did not know if the family had yet decided on the fate of the shop.
The Cummings family could not be reached for comment. Mr. Cummings had worked at City Tire for 40 years, including the past 12 as owner, according to an obituary in the ``Oakland Press.'' He is survived by his wife Cynthia and sons Clifford and Richard Jr.
The lack of a motive continues to unsettle other service shop owners in the area. Rick Callahan, owner of Callahan's Muffler & Brake-an undercar service shop about two miles away from City Tire-said he was surprised by the violence.
``That's certainly a concern,'' he said. ``Anytime something like that happens, you wonder, was it just random?''
Mr. Callahan, who has owned the shop for 14 years, said he did not know Mr. Cummings that well, but he often referred customers to the tire shop since Callahan's Muffler doesn't carry tires. Mr. Callahan said he had installed security cameras about five years ago, but he never had more problems than an old bathtub trashed in his Dumpster.
He said he also feels safer with a pretty constant flow of customers. ``It's rare you could come in here and not have a lot of customers,'' he said.
A police spokeswoman said the lack of a motive so far makes it hard for businesses to protect against another incident.
``There's not really any advice because we just don't really know,'' she said.
Still, Mr. Callahan said he doesn't plan to make any permanent changes to his business out of fear. ``You can't live your life like that,'' he said.