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Muslim Samaritan killed in Ontario

28th Dec 2017

Harun Nasrullah

A good Samaritan Muslim teenager was killed trying to help an elderly man in central Hamilton, Ontario.Yosif Al-Hasnawi, 19, was fatally shot in the stomach after trying to stop two men from harassing a pensioner on the street outside Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre.

Al-Hasnawi who is of Iraqi descent was attending prayers on December 3 night when he stepped outside with a friend and a younger brother. That’s when he witnessed some sort of altercation where two men were accosting a pensioner. When Al-Hasnawi told them to stop, police say the two men then turned on him and one of them shot him on Sanford Avenue at approximately 9 p.m.

Detective Sergeant Steve Bereziuk said, “This is a result of him literally trying to help, a Good Samaritan, it’s very sad”. Witnesses described hearing a single pop of a gun. There was little blood and several people initially thought he had been shot by a BB gun – but it was a handgun, police say.

Al-Hasnawi family friends Talib and Tariq Al-Jalili called Al-Hasnawi a “hero,” and described him as a kind young man who was like family to many in the community. “It’s a terrible loss for the community,” said Talib.

Several people from inside the mosque came outside and claimed that they were asking for Al-Hasnawi to be sent to a hospital faster. Erin Fabello was inside her apartment when she heard the gunshot. Her boyfriend went outside and then came back to say he thought it was a BB gun, and alleged the paramedics on scene were laughing as Al-Hasnawi was writhing in pain.Another witness said the young victim was roughly thrown on a stretcher as though the paramedic was a “baggage handler at the airport.”

“He was lying there complaining he was hurting and they kept saying he was faking,” Tom Raczynski, who witnessed the aftermath of the shooting, told The Canadian Press. “The one paramedic kept saying, ‘Oh you’re a good actor’… I just thought it was disgusting.”

Al-Hasnawi was also a talented athlete both in basketball and boxing. The family came to Canada from Iraq. He is Hamilton’s ninth homicide victim of the year. Police do not believe he was targeted because of his race or religion. In response to these accusations, Hamilton Paramedic Services issued a statement on December 4, “As a result of information we have received, HPS has notified the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Investigations Branch and we have initiated an investigation,” part of that statement read.
A 20-year-old man was arrested in connection with the murder, James Anthony Robert Matheson has been charged with accessory after the fact to murder.

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