Michael Addo, known as a friendly Rite Aid pharmacist with a “million dollar smile”, had a toddler and wife in Ghana, where he hoped someday to open his own pharmacy. He was a homicide victim on Monday, and it appears that he may not have known the attacker who shot him, according to a friend.
Police identified Michael Nana Baffour Addo, 35, of Mason, as the first of two shooting victims likely killed by the same suspect on Monday; both incidents that led to the lockdown of schools and the indefinite closure of the Rite Aid store, 3106 East Saginaw, in the Frandor Shopping Center.
The suspect, a customer at the Rite Aid pharmacy, has not been identified. Police say he also shot and killed 27-year-old Jordan Daniel Rogers at Rogers’ home on Coolidge Road. Growing up in Ghana, Addo, the father of an 11-month-old daughter, was always interested in medicine and eventually pursued a career as a pharmacist. He moved to London and later to Chicago before moving to the Detroit area for an internship, said his longtime friend George Nii Okaiteye of Chicago.
“Mike was the type who was ambitious, he was looking to open his own pharmacy in Ghana,” Okaiteye said. “He loved people, he loved to make friends and basically he was a type who wouldn’t argue.”
Okaiteye said he was told that Addo was helping a customer who asked for a drug that he did not have a prescription for on Monday. Addo told the man that he needed a prescription and the man got angry, according to Okaiteye. The man then went to his car and came back and shot Addo several times in the face, Okaiteye said. But details remain unclear and Okaiteye said he’s heard conflicting stories.
Addo had a “million dollar smile” and was always bubbly, said Teresa Spears, of Lansing, who visited the Rite Aid store several times each week.
“He’s an angel,” she said. “I’m not exaggerating.”
“He’s one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. It’s just been a tragedy. I’ve not been able to stop crying,” she said.
Addo would ask regular customers about their families, and he didn’t hesitate to walk customers to the aisle where they could find the remedy they needed.
“You look forward to going in there and seeing him because he just brightens your day,” said Spears, who considers Addo part of her family. She has reached out to his family members.
Okaiteye said he heard from at least two or three of Addo’s customers who reached out after seeing his comments on Facebook.
Mary Ellen Sheets, founder of Two Men and A Truck, said Addo was “super friendly” when she’d go through the Rite Aid drive-thru.
Vicki Levengood, of Okemos, also was a frequent customer at the Frandor Rite Aid and said Addo had “a gorgeous accent.”
“I can say every time he helped me, he was always exceptionally professional, soft-spoken – and incredibly patient,” she said. “I was confused about a prescription and a discount plan – I mean completely confused – and he sorted it all out. The next time I went in, I was working with a pharmacist assistant and he came over and explained that he had entered all the information the first time. He made every arrangement to make sure I had the discount each time.”
Addo worked for Rite Aid since 2009 and was well-liked by both colleagues and customers, said Rite Aid spokeswoman Ashley Flower.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to Michael’s family, friends and co-workers … he will be sorely missed,” Flower said in an email.
Addo’s neighbor, Anna McMurphy, echoed many of his customers’ sentiments when she described him as a very pleasant man who would always smile.