Man faces murder charges over bizarre gunfight with sister

Police Line / Police Tape" by Tony Webster is marked with CC BY 2.0 DEED.

In the course of our work here, we read quite a few reports of shootouts, some of which involve murder charges and others that don’t. Often, it’s the police or an armed citizen shooting at one another. Others are like the shooting at a Florida boardwalk earlier this week.


To be honest, most aren’t that interesting. I’m sure they’re exciting–for certain values of the word–during the event, but reading the reports later? Not exactly fascinating stuff much of the time.

But a shooting in Michigan is interesting in part because it seems rather bizarre.

A Michigan man was arrested this month for allegedly killing his half-sister over an apparent business dispute about the company the two co-owned, authorities said.

Zachary Holston III, of Farmington Hills, was charged with second-degree murder and felony firearm after he and his sibling got into a confrontation outside their family business on May 26, according to a press release from the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office.

Holston, 50, was exiting the workplace in Sterling Heights when he was approached by the victim along with her husband, and daughter in the parking lot, the release states. Holston and the victim then got into a verbal dispute.

As Holston was getting into his car, three family members approached the passenger door, where a physical altercation erupted over documents that were subsequently found in the vehicle, authorities allege.

The prosecutor’s office claims in the release that at this point, the two drew their firearms and exchanged gunfire.


Holston’s half-sister, Rita Evans, was shot and killed.

The workplace in question was Kath Chemicals, where Holston was CEO and Evans was CFO.

So yeah, kind of bizarre.

Familial homicide isn’t unheard of. In fact, it’s shockingly common. Violence between co-workers is fairly common as well. A homicide between family members who owned the workplace in question shooting at one another is…different.

Holston is currently charged with a number of crimes, including second-degree murder.

However, there has to be more to this story. I can’t help but feel like there’s more to this than just your garden-variety disagreement between CEO and CFO or between half-siblings. Those usually don’t result in one person being killed in a gunfight.

Now, though, the biggest question is whether Holston is actually guilty of murder.

After all, a lot of it likely depends on the details not included in the report. We don’t know who drew first, for example. We don’t know what precipitated the disagreement in the first place. All of that will likely come out in court.


Of course, if the people with Evans say Holston drew first, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he did. The witnesses to the crime were with Evans, after all, so their accounts are likely to be biased.

I honestly don’t envy investigators on this one. This looks like it’s a mess from start to finish, but it’s one I genuinely want to see when everything is said and done, because whatever it is we don’t know is likely to be fascinating.

The murder of anyone is tragic, but trying to understand why it happened makes this worth paying attention to.

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