Nykerion Nealon was arrested by Dallas police for allegedly killing Ahmed Al-Jumaili, an Iraqi immigrant gunned down while watching the first snowfall of his life just three weeks after coming to the United States.
Nealon was arrested Friday on a murder charge.
Though many in the community believed the killing may have been religiously or racially motivated, police said they do not believe it was a hate crime.
“We don’t believe he knew Mr. Al-Jumaili. We don’t believe he knew Mr. Al-Jumaili’s ethnicity,” police Maj. Jeff Cotner told a news conference Friday.
The Iraqi immigrant was shot and killed March 4 while standing outside his apartment complex in Dallas. Al-Jumaili and his family were standing outside taking pictures of the snowfall, the first he had seen in his life, when someone opened fire.
Al-Jumaili was with his wife and other family members when he was shot.
“Just like all of us, a pretty snowfall brings the child out in us,” Dallas police Maj. Jeff Cotner said. “You can just imagine the excitement between his wife and his brother and himself as they were enjoying the snowfall.”
There is “extreme heartache… and no shortage of sadness for this beautiful young man who had just come to this country 20 days ago,” said Alia Salem, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in the Dallas and Fort Worth area.
The case appeared to be difficult for police at first. They had little evidence and reportedly no eyewitnesses who could identify the shooter.
“It’s very concerning to us,” Cotner said a day after the killing. “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.”
But then a reported witness in suburban Richardson stepped forward, identifying Nykerion Nealon as a potential suspect.
Police believe that Nealon was with a group of people seeking someone who had opened fire on them. It is not clear it they mistook the Iraqi immigrant for the previous shooter or targeted him for some other reason.
Conter said police searched Nealon’s home, finding an unfired cartridge with the same type of shell found at the scene.
Nykerion Nealon is being held without bond for allegedly killing Iraqi immigrant Ahmed Al-Jumaili.
[Image via Azhar Al-Rawi]