An Iraqi immigrant was shot and killed while watching his first ever snowfall earlier this week.
Ahmed Al-Jumaili and his wife recently moved to the United States to find refuge from the ongoing violence in their homeland. However, the U.S. didn’t provide the safety they had hoped for.
On Thursday, March 5, Ahmed and his brother were watching the snow fall in the parking lot of his Dallas, Texas, apartment complex, as his wife Zahraa took pictures, when a group of unidentified men opened gunfire.
“Just like all of us, a pretty snowfall brings the child out in us,” Jeff Cotner, Dallas police spokesperson said, according to the Dallas Daily News. “You can just imagine the excitement between his wife and his brother and himself as they were enjoying the snowfall.”
The gunfire left eight bullets lodged in a parked truck and one in Al-Jumili. According to Cotner, Ahmed shouted “I’m hit!” before retreating back to his apartment to nurse his wound. He was taken to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, where he later died.
Witnesses reported seeing two to four men entering the gates of the apartment complex before the shooting began. Since then, the authorities have stepped up their surveillance of the area and have offered a $5,000 reward for anyone with information that would lead to an arrest and indictment of the shooters.
“It’s very concerning to us,” Cotner explained. “We alone cannot solve these crimes. This is one of those times we need someone to understand what occurred and give us the information we need to make those responsible for this action be held accountable.”
While there is currently no leads or motive for the shooting, authorities have not ruled out the possibility of the incident being a hate crime.
“That’s certainly something we haven’t excluded, but right now we’re just looking for anything,” Cotner said.
The North Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-DFW) has also become involved in the investigation.
“Because of recent incidents targeting American Muslims, including the murder of three young Muslims in North Carolina, we urge law enforcement authorities to address community concerns about a motive in this case,” CAIR-DFW Executive Director Alia Salem said.
Ahmed had arrived in the United States just 20 days before the shooting. He and Zahraa married 16 months ago, but had spent the last year and a half apart after she retreated to the U.S. to stay with her family. According to the Independent, when Al-Jumili arrived to meet his wife, she was holding a sign that read, “I’ve waited 460 days, 11,040 hours, 662,400 minutes for this moment, welcome home.”
Ahmed’s friends set up a fundraiser to help his family in this tragic time. So far, they have surpassed their goal of $15,000 and have raised $22,500.
“It is heartbreaking to know that Zahrra won’t get to experience life’s milestones with her Ahmed. Hard to believe that their time together, as husband and wife, started just 16 months ago, and has now tragically ended so suddenly,” the site read. “Let us, as community, reach out to this family and show love and compassion towards our Zahraa and the Altaie/Al-Jumaili family during this difficult time.”
Anyone with any information about the shooting death of Ahmed Al-Jumaili should call Dallas police at 214-671-3661.
[Photo via LaunchGood.com/Ahmed Al-Jumaili Memorial & Family Fund]