Ghanaian pharmacist killed in the US

Ghanaian pharmacist killed in the US

Full police press conference on double homicide: Lansing police, East Lansing police and the Ingham County Prosecutors office held a press conference to update the public on the investigation into the double homicide from May 12, 2014.

LANSING — The pharmacist shot and killed Monday at a Lansing Rite Aid was a 35-year-old man from Ghana who came to the United States seven years ago to work.

Michael Nana Baffour Addo’s wife and 11-month-old daughter had stayed behind. Addo hadn’t seen them since the fall of 2013.

Jordan Rogers, 27, who was shot less than 15 minutes later at his East Lansing home, was described as “fanatical” about sports and “like a stepdad” to his fiancee’s three daughters.

Both men were identified Tuesday as the victims of a single gunman, whose reason or reasons for shooting them remain unclear. Officials identified the suspect only as a 34-year-old East Lansing man. He is in police custody awaiting charges.

“We’re working to understand the motive of these crimes,” Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski said Tuesday at a joint news conference with East Lansing police. Both agencies are working together in the investigation.

Yankowski would only say that investigators have determined that what happened at Rite Aid “was not a robbery attempt for guns or drugs.”

“It was not a robbery attempt for money,” he added. East Lansing police declined to comment about a motive in the killing of Rogers.

The suspect, who was arrested Monday after an hours-long standoff at his East Lansing duplex, lived next door to Rogers in the 1800 block of Coolidge Road. The two had engaged in a loud and heated argument the previous night, according to neighbors.

Addo had gone first to London and then to the U.S. in 2007 to work as a pharmacist. He moved to Michigan in 2010 and was living in Mason.

Nicholas Gyimah, a cousin, described Addo as “very well educated, very intelligent and well focused on whatever he was doing.”

“Michael never knew any trouble,” Gyimah said, speaking by phone from Marseille, France. “Michael was very, very ambitious and focused on his job. It’s unfortunate that a guy of this nature should come across such a tragedy.

“I can assure you that, when the family got the news of what happened to our dear brother, we were overwhelmed.”

George Nii Okaiteye, a friend, talked Sunday night by phone with Addo about their school days in Kumasi, the capital of Ghana’s Ashanti region, about friends and money and the next time Addo would see his family.

Addo was quiet, Okaiteye said, ambitious, serious about saving his money. He had come to the U.S. for the opportunity. He wanted to return to Ghana and “establish on his own.”

The two killings happened late Monday morning. The first, in which Addo died, was reported at 11:06 a.m. at the Rite Aid drugstore near the Frandor Shopping Center in Lansing.

Police said the suspect confronted Addo at the drug store. At least one witness reported hearing several shots fired after a man went into a “consultation room” with Addo.

The second shooting happened about a mile away on Coolidge Road in East Lansing, at a house next to the duplex where the suspect lived.

Adam Brown, who lived on the upper floor of that duplex, said the suspect had argued with Rogers the night before the shooting. At one point, Brown heard a man he believed to be Rogers screaming: “Come over here and shoot me.”

Nick Ellena, whose daughter, Sarah, was engaged to Rogers, described him as a good-hearted person who “was like a stepdad” to her three daughters, ages 7, 11, and 14.

Ellena said Rogers had not yet asked him about marrying Sarah, but he believed Rogers was waiting until he found a permanent job.

Ellena said Rogers had been doing roofing, was working as a dishwasher and intended to take on a third job.

“She’s heartbroken, devastated,” Ellena said about his daughter. “And the same thing with the kids.”

He said the state has placed the girls in their father’s custody.

“Her kids are going through hell right now,” Ellena said.

Nolan Ruffing met Rogers in middle school in East Lansing. They became fast friends and stayed close after Rogers transferred to Sexton High School in Lansing.

Rogers was “funny, always laughing,” Ruffing said, and “fanatical about his sports.”

“He was always looking for new work, a new venture,” he said. “He never let any friendship die. He loved spending time with his friends.”

Rogers got engaged in October 2013 according to his Facebook page. He also had two children of his own, according to Ellena.

“We’re going to miss Jordan’s spirit a lot,” Ruffing said. “When I heard about it, it was a complete shock. It’s not anything I would imagine him

ever being involved in. It’s just unbelievable.”

Staff writer Ken Palmer contributed to this report.

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