In North Hills, California, 29-year-old Amir Issa was assassinated by his father, Shehada Khalil Issa on March 29, 2016. ABC News reported the 69-year-old Issa was arrested by Los Angeles police officers. The victim was shot twice, once in the face and the other in the abdomen. On April 1, the prosecutor’s office charged the man with “one count of premeditated murder.” They are also charging him with a hate crime in the shooting death of his gay son.
Issa claims he shot his son after he found his wife, who had been stabbed to death. He elaborated, stating the shooting was in self-defense. According to Los Angeles Times, Issa used a shotgun and readily admitted he was the culprit.
When the police entered the home, they discovered the body of Issa’s wife, 68-year-old Rabihah. She was found on the bathroom floor. According to the incident commander on the scene, Sergeant Greg Bruce, she had been dead “for a while.” Bruce indicated the cause of her wounds were not readily evident. However, he stated, “there was some sort of foul play.”
His neighbors said the suspect was not social and did not engage in conversation. They also said his wife was rarely seen. One neighbor implied the victim had a troubled past, and there were several events involving police visits at the Issa home.
The Los Angeles Times spoke with Francisco Gonzalez Jr., who stated the suspect had told him Amir had a great life. However, when his son began using drugs his life changed. The neighbor made no mention of Issa referring to the victim as gay.
According to Sgt. Bruce there had been a previous occasion for the police and the Issa family to have had contact. He had been told there was a dispute between the victim and his parents. The suspect had wanted assistance to evict his son from the back of the home, where he had been living.
Bruce told reporters, the detectives had been involved in the situation involving the eviction process. He also explained the parents had to hire contractors to make repairs as a result of damage done to the home by the victim.
He further stated he had no previous knowledge of any father-son disputes related to the son being gay. Then on April 2, the police reiterated they had no further details about the alleged threats made by the suspect against the victim.
The neighbor, Gonzalez Jr., stated he ran outside when he heard what the thought might be gunshots. The elder Issa, whom Gonzalez called Joe, was outside the house and was making a phone call. Gonzalez Jr. asked Joe if he was okay, and if he had, in fact, heard gunshots. He told reporters Joe used reassured him everything was fine. Furthermore, he said, the accused did not appear to be distraught.
The shooting surprised Gonzalez Jr. because during the previous encounters the defendant had handled the trouble with his son in a calm manner, simply calling the police for assistance and blaming the situation on his son’s drug use.
“He was very patient and showed no signs of aggression.” The neighbor was shocked and expressed feeling sad for the Issa. The tragedy, the district attorney stated was a premeditated shooting, caused the Gonzalez Jr. to feel sad. Issa assassinated his son and appeared to show no distress over his loss, according to his neighbor.
According to Daily Mail, the victim had posted a video on Facebook in Dec. 2015 of a heated argument with his parents. During the video, a man called the victim a pervert and stated castration should be done. In a written Facebook rant the victim made on March 19, the family included another son and a daughter. The young man complained his father called him names and was controlling. He wrote his family had tried to have him declared incompetent, robbed his bank account and unsuccessfully attempted to have him declared mentally ill.
According to ABC News, the district attorney’s office stated Issa had “threatened to kill his 29-year-old son for being gay” in the past. While not elaborating the prosecutor said, the defendant killed his son due to his perception of his son’s association with another gay man and what the defendant believed that meant. Issa will remain in jail without bail. His arraignment will take place on April 11 at the L.A. County Superior Court.
By Cathy Milne
ABC News: NORTH HILLS FATHER CHARGED WITH KILLING SON FOR BEING GAY
Daily Mail: Christian father ‘shot his son dead for being gay’ and ‘stabbed to death his wife’ at their LA home
Los Angeles Times: Neighbors said gay man shot by father had troubled history
Image Courtesy of Tony Webster’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License