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Posted on Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

Police: Victim was fatally shot by co-worker after fight about job performance

By John Counts


Ypsilanti police investigate the scene of Wednesday's fatal shooting on South Grove Street.

Melanie Maxwell |

Police believe a dispute about slacking off on the job at a metal plating plant prompted the fatal shooting Wednesday of a 29-year-old Superior Township man in Ypsilanti.

“They worked together there on the line,” said Ypsilanti police Sgt. Thomas Eberts, who characterized the shooting as work-related. “It was an issue of job performance.”

The victim, Bhagavan Yashura Allen, and the suspect, a 34-year-old Ypsilanti Township man, reportedly got into a physical altercation at Marsh Plating Corp., located at 103 North Grove Street at the corner of East Michigan Avenue, at some point before the 4 p.m. shooting, police said.


Bhagavan Allen

From the Facebook profile of Bhagavan Allen

The 34-year-old suspect ran the assembly line and may have questioned Allen's work ethic, Eberts said. It is unknown if the suspect was Allen’s immediate supervisor. Representatives of Marsh Plating Corp. declined to comment when contacted by

The two men didn’t allow the fight to escalate inside the plant because both were worried about it costing them their jobs, Eberts said. Instead, they decided to go someplace neutral after work to settle their dispute.

The shooting occurred a few blocks down South Grove Street, within sight of the plant. Eberts said after work, both men walked south on opposite sides of the street exchanging threatening words. Allen crossed the street as the men approached the South Street intersection. He might have been expecting a continuation of the wrestling-type of physical contact the two were engagedin at the plant, police said.

“I don’t think he knew he had a gun,” Eberts said. “The shooting happened immediately.”

The 34-year-old suspect allegedly stepped between a tree and a fence to pull a .45 caliber handgun and fire two shots at Allen, which knocked him to the ground in the bike lane of the street. The suspect then allegedly stood over Allen’s fallen body and shot three or four more rounds at him, police said.

The suspect then fled on foot back toward Marsh Plating. A Belleville man working nearby at the time of the shooting followed the fleeing suspect to that area after hearing the gunshots. He told he last saw the suspect near the plant before police arrived and put the Belleville man into a patrol car for his own safety. Sheriff's officers used a dog to search Marsh Plating but lost the track by a nearby railroad.

Police responding to the shooting scene found Allen suffering from numerous gunshot wounds, including one to the neck and more to the torso. Huron Valley Ambulance transported him to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, but Allen died on the way. Police are awaiting autopsy results to determine just how many times he was shot.

In the meantime, police continue to search for the suspect. They are not releasing his name or picture at this time, Eberts said.

Police said both men had a history of criminal activity.

According to the company website, Marsh Plating and Finishing Services, a metal plating operation and a related finishing company, employs more than 150 people and has annual sales in excess of $10 million.

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John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 6:09 p.m.

In response to the post from BhavanaJagal: Im not sure who you are talking about but I have worked at marsh for years and your friend has no clue what he or she is talking about. I know everyone at the plant level and it sounds like your friend must be management. From my point of view Mgrs have no idea whats going on on the shop floor. Is safe having all the doors open and unlocked while a suspect is at large? Is safe reporting an incident of violence only to have it ignored? Is safe firing another violent employee only to have them move to the other plant putting others in danger?


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 11:41 p.m.

will some


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 6:14 p.m.

This is so sad & it's pathetic that the suspect had to resit to pulling a gun. What ever happened to fighting with fists? But, i guess it takes more guts to fight someone, then to be a coward & pull a gun from a far. If they worked together then the suspect had to know that he was taking a father away from his kids, a husband away from his wife, a son/brother/cousin/uncle/grandson/nephew away from his family. People- realize that bullets take lives permanently...was this really worth it? How's the suspects production at work these days since the shooting?


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 6:15 p.m.

oops...i meant to say resort to pulling a gun! not resit

Gersh Avery

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 3:36 p.m.

The identity of the shooter is being kept secret. We all just know that he was the supervisor of the victim, a black male, weighing about 240 and standing about 6' 4". No one would be able to figure out who that might be ..

music to my ear

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 5:23 p.m.

his arraignment may be soon, then yens will know.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

John Counts... At this point, 24 hours later, it seems outrageous that the assailant's name, which is known to the police, is not being released to the public. What reasoning have you been given for this valuable information being withheld?


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.

I just have no words! This is absolutely disgusting... such thuggish behavior. A man is dead, and the murderer not only lost his job, but will spend the rest of his life in prison. I don't understand men... people really.

music to my ear

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 1:01 p.m.

and these kind of crimes are not just happening in Detroit any more ,this area A2- ypsi -saline-dexter are seeing a spike in crime do we all have to watch our backs. stay off your cell phones when walking to your cars. be-aware!!!!

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 11:25 a.m.

To all you high school and college slackers, take note.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 10:43 a.m.

First response: well, that fixed it! Second response: what must that animal have been like to work for?


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 6:13 a.m.

This is a very sad time for the family of the victim. I'm not surprised that the name of the suspect is withheld. The police must be sure they have the facts before they make those facts public. It need to be in the best interest of the investigation and not hamper the search for the suspect. In situations such as this where the suspect of an extremely violent crime is known or identified (as is this suspect), in this case one that did in fact work with the victim, it is not needed to tell the media or the public exactly who the suspect is. In a case such as this where the suspect is at large and armed and dangerous, investigators do not want to forwarn or tip off those who would provide possible harborages after the fact. Not getting the ID right could possibly result in dangerous or retaliatory confrontations with a friend or family member of the victim and/or friend or family member of the suspect. It's bad enough to lose someone. To be told at the same time who did it....I don't even want to imagine how that would feel. The investigation will be ongoing and many facts of the investigation will not be known until charges are filed and some facts will not be known until trial, if there is one. We will never know all the facts. That's just the way it will be. I do feel for the family of Mr Allen.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 12:29 p.m.

Excellent points! I agree, thanks! We're all just so shocked at the brutality and pre-meditated cold murder of this crime, we just want the 'obvious' guy found and arrested. But I reckon the police know who he is and we should hear soon about his arrest.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 5 a.m.

Premeditated Murder = Life in Prison with No Possibility of Parole. It costs $30,000 a year to lock-up a Felon. Figure the Bad Guy will live for 40 more years = $1,200,000 (More than a Million Dollars). Is it "worth it" in Tax Payer Dollars for the Bad Guy "snapping" and firing .45 bullets (nearly a 1/2 inch in diameter) into the Victim? Yins tell me!


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 3:03 a.m.

YPD will get him. YPD rocks, over worked and underpaid.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:42 a.m.

Sad to say but Im surprised it has not already happened, I used to work down there and its not anything new that people argue and fight. Its also not the first or second time someones brought a gun to the place. Its also nothing new that management dosnt really care whats going on as long as its not causing production to dip. I was fired after a similar incedent (also almost resulted in me and a co-worker fighting )i n which the night shift supervisor refused to do his job and make everyone do their job


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 12:51 a.m.

"Police said both men had a history of criminal activity. " I don't doubt that they said it, but I'm not sure why you chose to print it. It is customary to provide the police summary of a murder victim's criminal activity history? Seems questionable to me.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 12:40 p.m. won't print the suspects name until he's arraigned, but they felt OK with printing possibly unsubstantiated and definitely irrelevant information about the NAMED victim. - are you sure you aren't violating your own guidelines here?


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 1:27 a.m.

Agreed Brad. The victim is decreased so whatever actions he may have committed while on Earth, living, breathing is no longer relevant to advance or write about this story. Now the suspects' prior criminal activity, would indeed be relevant to this article. Someone as lost possible Father, Uncle, Cousin and for sure a Son. It would be approriate if took that into account when writing and approving this article with notation to the victims' prior criminal history.

Life in Ypsi

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 1:22 a.m.

The victim turned his life around and supported and loved his family. A shame his past needed to be brought up.

Honest Abe

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 11:58 p.m.

"The suspect then allegedly stood over Allen's fallen body and shot three or four more rounds at him, police said." Geesh, this is stuff you see in the movies. Hopefully the suspect is caught soon! By the way, just who is the suspect? It's not like YPD doesn't know! Why has this vital information not been released? The people might be able to help bring him to justice, not to mention he did brutally murder a man in broad daylight! Who's to say this guy may not try to force himself into someone's home and create another bad situation? I usually praise YPD, but not on this case. Thanks for the vague information Det Sgt Eberts! (Rookie Det Sgt at that, he was recently a Sgt patrolman)


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 3:07 a.m.

YPD knows what they are doing. I'm sure they are working with the family and having them contact him and have him turn himself in. We are not police officers, let them do their job.

Ann English

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 11:19 p.m.

I hope the suspect doesn't turn out to be one of my own former coworkers. This former coworker became the father of a son while working in the same building I did. One man in his department told all of us he was going to go work at Marsh Plating, but in the end, he didn't. But the former coworker went to Marsh Plating and got hired. It is terrible when FATHERS commit such crimes, whether we knew them firsthand or not.


Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 11:09 p.m.

No one is mentioning that at the same spot a few months ago was a fight between girls over facebook that sent one of them to the hospital. This happened in front of my former apartment building and I'm so very greatful that I was able to move from this street. It just keeps getting worse as time goes on. Good Luck Ypsi PD, you have your hands full in just one block of South Grove.

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 10:48 p.m.

" police continue to search for the suspect. They are not releasing his name or picture at this time, Eberts said. " I wonder why releasing his name and a picture isn't helpful. Maybe someone would turn him in if they knew he was the suspect. I have to think the guy knows the police are looking for him as the shooter.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

Must not want to catch him to bad do they?

music to my ear

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 9:56 p.m.

you cannot even settle a dispute now a days, gone are the days of settling our disputes over a beer. this is a crazy world we live in you never know when anyone has a gun (legal or not.) who can one trust anyone, anymore

Silly Sally

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 12:36 a.m.

It is called "diversity" where everyone is so diferent that is is getting harder and harder to gauge or judge people. Its the 60s "do your own thing" and non conformity. It does make our society much less trustful, and fearful, especially of strangers.

music to my ear

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 11:46 p.m.

yes we never know both ways, like we can only trust very few.its like any day. anytime our time could up .and I cant see that it is GOD calling us home, like they say our time is up,how about,it is crazy people that is taking our time.thus. the Devil made them do it, bad bad people.


Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 10:58 p.m.

Is it that we don't know when anyone has a gun, or is it really that we can't tell anymore who among is still human and who is, to borrow GoNavy's appropriate description, a depraved individual with no regard for human life or the boundaries of civilized society? Haven't people in this country always carried weapons, by and large, since the days of the pioneers? I think the difference is a stunning lack of basic human decency at a level not previously seen, and it is very sad.


Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 8:26 p.m.

Wow, that is brutal. I hesitate to say that "shooting a man is one thing," but standing over an incapacitated man in order to deliver purposely fatal shots is the essence of human depravity.


Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 8:08 p.m.

I love knowing that a cold blooded murderer is on the streets and we have no idea what he looks like. WHat is the purpose of not informing the public?


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

Wouldn't the co workers be able to described him?


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 5:20 a.m.

Well that narrows it down. I doubt the clothing description is pertinent anymore.


Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 9:14 p.m.

"Witnesses have described the suspect as a black man about 6 feet 4 inches tall, weighing about 240 pounds. He was wearing dark jeans, a dark black or blue hooded sweatshirt and a light blue do-rag, they said." It's in one of the previous articles.


Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 7:37 p.m.

I guess an interim doesn't apply at this shop for less than satisfactory performance?

John Counts

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 7:22 p.m.

Hi greg, too. Police are still investigating what exactly happened in this incident. Please note, however, that in the third paragraph it says the two men were reportedly involved in a "physical altercation" at the plant some time before the shooting. I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion. We will report more details as they are released to us by police.

greg, too

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 7:35 p.m.

Sorry, I hope you didn't think I was knocking your reporting (I probably should have stated that better). It just seems like there are differing stories and gapping holes in what they are reporting to you guys on this.

greg, too

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 7:04 p.m.

There are a lot of holes in this story. It states they didn't fight at work, but later states they were engaged in "wrestling-type of physical contact." Which is it? And if the guy was afraid of losing his job over a fight with a worker at work, why would he then decide to shoot him outside? Did he not think he would lose his job, as well as his freedom, over murdering a guy in the street? Report the guy to your superior, don't shoot him. I think that might be frowned upon by well as the police. Either the killer is one of the dumbest people alive or there are parts of this story that are not being told by the witnesses.

Matt Cooper

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 11:23 p.m.

"Wrestling-type of physical contact" does not mean they fought. Nor does "physical altercation". Don't read too much into the semantics until the police have released more details.

greg, too

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 7:33 p.m.

jcj, read the next paragraph of the article where it states, clearly, "He might have been expecting a continuation of the wrestling-type of physical contact the two were engagedin at the plant, police said."


Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 7:23 p.m.

It clearly never said they did not fight at work. "The victim, Bhagavan Yashura Allen, and the suspect, a 34-year-old Ypsilanti Township man, reportedly got into a physical altercation at March Plating Corp.," "The two men didn't allow the fight to escalate inside the plant"


Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 6:58 p.m.

"The two men didn't allow the fight to escalate inside the plant because both were worried about it costing them their jobs" I'm going to guess that the suspect did not show up to work today. Unbelievable that someone could take a life like that and not think about the ramifications....such as life behind bars.

John of Saline

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

Performance reviews are done with pen and paper or a computer, not a gun.