Home / National News / Widow of slain Vietnam veteran pleads for suspects to turn themselves in


(NEW YORK) — As Detroit authorities search for two females in connection with the killing of a Vietnam veteran, the victim’s wife pleaded for the suspects to turn themselves in.

“You’ve got to pay for what you did,” said the widow of James Haller Jr., at a press conference Thursday. “You took a father away, you took a husband away … the children miss their dad and I miss my husband.”

Haller came across a robbery in progress at the store on Wednesday, and “the unthinkable took place,” said Detroit Police Chief James Craig. One of the two robbers, whom police said are both women, was armed with a handgun, police said. She fired one shot, striking Haller in a “cowardly” act, said Craig.

Haller’s family “lost a loving husband, a dad,” and “a distinguished military veteran who served in Vietnam and also served in the Detroit Police Department in the late 70s as a Detroit police reserve,” Craig said at the news conference.

His wife addressed the suspects directly, “God’s going to get you if the police don’t.”

“You didn’t have to shoot him,” she said, weeping. ABC News affiliate WXYZ-TV in Detroit identified the widow as Patricia Haller.

The Detroit police chief also addressed the suspects, warning, “Not only are we going to find you, we’re going to arrest you. So do yourself a favor, turn yourself in.”

The armed suspect was described by Craig as an African American woman roughly 25 to 35 years old, with a heavy build, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, with long curly hair. The second suspect was described by Craig as an African American woman roughly 25 to 35 years old who is about 5 feet 7 inches tall. Craig said the suspects fled in an older-model, burgundy Chevy suburban which appeared to have a broken right rear window covered by clear plastic and duct tape.

Craig also said police are aware of two witnesses, including a man who police say bumped into the suspects. Police want the witnesses to come forward to be interviewed.

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