Shehada Issa: Did Homophobia Lead To Father Killing His Gay Son?

Shehada Issa, from Los Angeles, California, was arrested by police on Friday and charged with the murder of his 29-year-old son, Amir Issa. When police arrived at the Issa house, they also found Shehada’s wife was dead. According to prosecutors, Shehada had made repeated threats against the life of his son due to the fact that Amir was gay. Currently, authorities are still attempting to determine if Shehada also murdered his wife.

Amir and his mother Rabihah were transported to the county coroner. The report from the coroner states that Rabihah Issa was stabbed multiple times and had been dead “for some time.” Amir Issa was shot by Shehada. Shehada states that he shot his son out of self-defense, which the police do not believe. Los Angeles prosecutors gave a statement about what they believe was the reason that Shehada murdered his son.

“The murder was committed because of the victim’s sexual orientation and because of the defendant’s perception of that status and the victims’ association with a person and a group of that status.”

Living Room Crime Scene
At the scene, a shotgun was recovered, which was the weapon Shehada used to murder his son. Shehada admits to shooting his son with it, in both the head and stomach. When officers were questioning Shehada, police state that Issa answered questions and commented in such a way that he incriminated himself. Shehada still maintained that he murdered his son out of self-defense after he saw his murdered wife on the floor. Detective John Doerbecker commented and Shehada’s story does not hold up.

“[Shehada] claimed his son was armed with a knife, and there was no knife to be found. It was a horrible family tragedy.”

According to police, Amir was living in an apartment that was attached to his parent’s house. Amir’s parents were attempting to evict him legally. As part of the eviction process, Sergeant Greg Bruce states that law enforcement was called.

“Our detectives were involved in the eviction process to try to get him removed from the property.”

The Los Angeles Times reported on the family tragedy. According to the L.A. Times, the Issa family resided in a part of town which had a “high-crime neighborhood, where few speak English and most take pains to guard what little they have.” The L.A. Times also reported that it was a combination of “drugs, mental illness, homophobia and extreme family dysfunction” all were catalysts that ended with the death of Rabihah and Amir Issa.

Joel Munoz, a neighbor living across the street from the Issa’s, stated that Shehada would often confide in him in regard to his son, Amir. According to Munoz, Shehada would often complain about Amir’s drug addiction and also his son’s mental illness. Munoz believed that Amir was not a good person, but he believed Shehada was.

“He was a good guy. The son was a bad guy. I’m so sorry for the old man.”

During their own investigation, the Los Angeles Times found evidence on Amir Issa’s Facebook page that would corroborate the mental illness claim that Shehada claims about his son. Amir was clearly frustrated by his living conditions. The L.A. Times stated that Amir last posted on Facebook 10 days before his death. Amir posted that his parents were “literally controlling me in my sleep.” He also posted that “they tell people to rape and molest me and make it seem like I enjoy that … If there is a devil or evil spirit, I truly believe it manifests itself in my family.”

Do you think Shehada Issa killed his son due to his sexual orientation?

[Image via Fer Gregory/Shutterstock]