Police arrested one man and were looking for another Monday in the fatal shooting of a Good Samaritan in Hamilton, a case that also prompted the city's paramedic service to investigate its response to the incident.
Yosif Al-Hasnawi — described by police as a brave young man who was trying to do the right thing — was shot when he tried to intervene as two men were accosting an older man in downtown Hamilton on Saturday night.
This is Yosif Al-Hasnawi. He saw an old man being harassed and tried to help. He was shot and killed, for trying save a man he'd never met.— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) December 4, 2017
When Muslims kill, it makes headlines. When they save lives, maybe they deserve the same #Canada#Hamiltonpic.twitter.com/0V2PZ9aX5R
Police say they arrested a 20-year-old man in connection with the shooting at about 3:30 a.m. on Monday and charged him with accessory after the fact to murder.
They say a second-degree murder warrant has been issued for Dale Burningsky King, 19, who is alleged to be the shooter. Detectives say he should be considered armed and dangerous.
The two suspects turned on Al-Hasnawi when the 19-year-old tried to help an older stranger, police said.
"This young man was doing what he felt was right in the situation," Det. Sgt. Steve Bereziuk told reporters. "He was a brave young man."
Police said paramedics took Al-Hasnawi to hospital on Saturday night, where he died of his injuries.
Witnesses say paramedics weren't helpful
Some witnesses, however, criticized paramedics who responded to the shooting, saying Al-Hasnawi was clearly in distress but wasn't taken seriously.
"They thought he was acting. The man was in severe pain inside his abdomen, why would he act?" said Talib Al-Jalili, who explained that Al-Hasnawi had come out of the Al-Mostafa Islamic Centre when the incident took place.
"He saw an old man walking by here with two people who were trying to harass him, assault him, hit him, laughing at him," Al-Jalili told reporters on Sunday. "He only told him 'leave the old man alone.'"
They thought he was acting ... why would he act?Talib Al-Jalili
Tom Raczynski, who lives in the area, said he heard screams that drew him out of his home on Saturday night. There wasn't much blood to be seen, he said, but the young man was clearly in distress.
"He was lying there complaining he was hurting and they kept saying he was faking," Raczynski said of paramedics and police at the scene.
"The one paramedic kept saying 'oh you're a good actor,'" Raczynski said. "I just thought it was disgusting. Like somebody's shot, you take him in to the hospital, you don't leave him lying there."
Paramedic service will investigate
Russell Crocker, deputy chief of the Hamilton Paramedic Service, said Monday that the service has launched an investigation into the incident as a result of information it has received.
"HPS will ensure that our process is thorough and that all facts are obtained and examined in regards to the event this past weekend. As we are in the early stages of the investigation, we are unable to provide any additional details at this time," Crocker said in a statement.
"Hamilton Paramedic Service sends its deepest condolences to the family of Yosif Al-Hasnawi during this difficult time."
Hamilton police would not comment on allegations that its officers didn't take Al-Hasnawi's distress seriously, but a spokeswoman said officers were dispatched at 8:57 p.m. and arrived on scene at 9:01 p.m.
Al-Hasnawi was a first-year medical science student at Brock University, the school said.
"The Brock community is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the death of our colleague Yosif Al-Hasnawi," said Brock University president Gervan Fearon. "Our deepest sympathies go to his family."
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