Thursday, December 29, 2011

Waterford, MI: Doesn’t Everyone Celebrate Christmas by Shooting Rollerskaters?

No? What are You, Some Kind of Racist?!

"This is a safe place"

No Snitch Rule in Effect



Police suspect Robert Lee German, 18, of being one of the shooters. If you see him, get away! By the way, that is one old-looking 18-year-old. In any event, it's those damned Germans causing all the trouble!




Surveillance video from Rolladium shootings: Waterford Township Police supplied this video of partygoers scattering when shots were fired.



December 23, 2011 at 6:42 p.m.


Police seek 18-year-old Pontiac man, 2 others in Waterford roller-rink shooting

·         By Mike Martindale

·         The Detroit News


Waterford Township— Police said three men were involved in an early Friday morning shooting that left at least five people wounded by gunfire at a private holiday party.

Waterford Township Police Chief Dan McCaw said the incident occurred about 2 a.m. at the Rolladium Skating Rink on the 4470 block of Highland Road during a pre-Christmas party attended by about 300 young adults. Police were en route to the rink on a report of a fight, one of two that occurred minutes before the shooting, McCaw said.

"There was a fight between people at the event, and three men left and returned with guns and started shooting indiscriminately and then left," said McCaw. "We have at least five people injured by gunfire and are interviewing witnesses who were there at the rink."

Attendees, many of them wearing roller skates, ducked and dove to get out of the way of gunfire, McCaw said.

"If there was a target inside, we haven't identified them yet," he said.

Police have received "conflicting accounts" from witnesses and will be reviewing videotapes from both inside and outside the rink to help determine exactly what prompted the shooting and help identify the shooters, McCaw said.

McCaw said police believe Robert Lee German, 18, of Pontiac, is one of the shooting suspects and are seeking him. Police described German as "armed and dangerous" and said he should not be approached.

McCaw said those wounded were two Pontiac women, 20 and 23 years old; a 20-year-old White Lake Township woman; and two Pontiac men, 20 and 21 years old. While one man was shot in the torso, most received grazing wounds in the hands and legs, and all were expected to recover, he said.

The rink has a metal detector that attendees must pass through before entering the premises, according to Kurt Anselmi, whose family has owned and operated the Rolladium for 60 years. Bags and packages are also examined, he said. Alcohol is neither sold nor permitted on the premises, he stressed.

"This was a private event for persons 18 and over that had been promoted on Facebook and Twitter," said Anselmi. "It was called "Roll Out" and to run between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. and they had their own security."

Anselmi said two women got into a fight a few minutes before the shooting, which drew security away from the doors as many of the 300 in attendance began to leave.

"Our videos show three young men wearing baggy clothes, enter through the exit doors as people were leaving," Anselmi said. "They then go about 30 feet into the building towards the rink area and start firing. It appeared all three of them fired guns. Then they ran out, one of them holding his gun behind him still firing it in the opposite direction as he ran out of the building.

"I'm amazed more people weren't injured."

From an outdoor video camera, it appears the three jumped into a small silver or gray vehicle in the parking lot and sped away, Anselmi said. Police are examining the videos for further clues to the identity of those involved in the shooting, he said.

"Our hearts go out to the … people who were injured and their families," Anselmi said. "It was a peaceful event with people out for a good time before the last few minutes … when these cowardly animals showed up. All we can hope is police catch up with them soon."

Meanwhile, loyal patrons of the Rolladium, like Fernando Smith, 50, of Pontiac, remain stunned by the news. Smith said he felt compelled to go to the rink on Friday out of concern for roller rink employees he has gotten to know over the years. Fortunately none of them were injured, he said.

"I've been coming here since I was a teenager — and still go twice a week," said Smith, who was accompanied by his 14-year-old daughter, Demetra, who also skates. "And while there might be a dispute between people from time to time, I've never heard of nothing ever like this before. It's a shame.

"I know this is a safe place and if they open tonight, I plan to be here roller skating, like always."

McCaw told The News that many witnesses have been less than cooperative with his investigators.

"Some of these people are scared — frightened that these people may come back for them," said McCaw. "We are explaining to them that it is important to get these people off the street as soon as possible."

McCaw asked that anyone who witnessed the shooting or has information about the suspects call police at (248) 674-0351 or (248) 618-7538. A $1,000 reward is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible, McCaw said.

(248) 338-0319

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