Slain store owner was “model for community businessmen” in inner cities

By Nick Meyer
DETROIT — Another store owner became the victim of senseless violence on Tuesday, May 1 as 63-year-old Chaldean American liquor store owner Faraj “Freddy” Dally was robbed and shot twice in the head as he attempted to open his store, the Medicine Chest, at 9 a.m.

Memorial balloons have been placed outside following his death while family, friends and customers gathered outside on Tuesday night for a candlelight vigil for Dally, who has owned the store since the 1970s. Police have a description of the suspects, two black males who wore scarves over their heads and drove a dark-colored SUV, possibly a Dodge Journey.

Dally had previously chaired the Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers organization representing 4,000 party store and gas station owners in Michigan and other parts of the Midwest.

A reward of $50,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the case, with $40,000 having been put up by the AFPD and $10,000 by the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce.

Nabby Yono, who serves as Vice President of Community Relations at the Arab and Chaldean Council in Detroit and is also a former president of the AFPD, is a close friend of Dally’s who was greatly saddened by the news.

“First and foremost he was a good person, a good businessman and a good family man who always took care of his family,” he said. “He had three boys, two were married and he was looking forward to the third getting married (this summer).”

Dally had an MBA from Baghdad as well and served as a chairman of the AFPD for a two-year term beginning in 2004.

Yono, who became choked up with emotion after recalling how he saw Dally at a gas station in a northern suburb on the morning of the shooting, said that Dally loved Detroit and its residents.

Dally had gone to cash checks preparing for the first of the month rush on the morning of the shooting.

“He had so many chances to leave Detroit and he didn’t, even when his store caught on fire a couple of years ago, a lot of people told him not to rebuild but he insisted on re-opening and staying there.”

Yono also commented on the sad cycle of violence.

“This is the price we’ve paid in the Arab and Chaldean community for the last 50 years, we’ve had probably 300-500 people killed in stores just trying to support their families, to serve the community, nobody deserves to be killed going to work.”

Auday Arabo, the current president of the AFPD organization, said that Dally had deep roots in the community and was well known and respected by residents of a neighborhood that has been hit hard by blight including store closings, burned-out houses, and more.

“Fred is what we call the model for businesspeople working in the inner city, he knew everyone in the community and as one person said it perfectly, he would do things for you that even your own family members wouldn’t do for you.”

He said that the area he originally opened the store in during the 1970s was a once-bustling community that had fallen on hard times. Dally gave several area residents jobs and practically helped raise them, Arabo said, considering the area his second home.

“For something to happen to a man like that who is a model for community businesspeople just breaks your heart,” he added.

A church service will be held on Saturday May 5, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at Mother of God Church in Southfield, 25585 Berg Rd.