Suspected Killer Of Former Coral Gables Waitress Arrested In Detroit
In the artsy tourist town of Saugatuck, where bartender Melissa Moore once worked to raise her two sons, relief came Friday at the news that a barricaded gunman wanted in Moore’s killing had been arrested in Detroit.
Police say the gunman, Jermaine Cooper, 35, was wanted for the execution-style killing of Moore, 31, of Holland, a once beloved bartender at Coral Gables in nearby Saugatuck. She worked there worked for six years while raising two sons on her own.
Cooper, who fathered one of Moore’s sons, was arrested just before 1 p.m. Friday following a 7-hour standoff with the FBI, which fired tear gas into a vacant west side Detroit home to get Cooper to surrender. Word of his arrest quickly reached the Coral Cables staff, whose phones erupted with texts about his apprehension.
“Everyone was so happy,” said Theresa Lee, a manager at Coral Gables who knew Moore for 10 years. “People absolutely loved Melissa. They loved her … Honestly, she was so well liked. She always smiled. She was always happy.”
“We’re all kind of in shock still,” said Carrie Lafountain, who knew Moore for about six years. “She was probably the sweetest person who worked here.”
The standoff on Detroit’s Dawes Street, punctuated by the firing of tear gas and the explosions of flash bang grenades, started about 6 a.m. Friday and ended shortly before 1 p.m., when the man emerged from the front door in handcuffs with federal agents at his side.
Several of Cooper’s family members and friends were at the scene, pleading with him to surrender.
“We’re here Jermaine,” yelled a woman, who said she was Cooper’s sister. “Just come out with your hands up, please.”
“We’re just happy he’s out alive,” said one woman, who would only identify herself as a relative of Cooper.
“This isn’t him,” she said. “This isn’t his M.O. (method of operation). He’s a great father. There are two sides to every story.”