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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Qatar man on trial after police station shooting, high-speed chase

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Lower criminal court in Doha
Lower criminal court in Doha

Three police officers in Qatar were shot and wounded by a man armed with an automatic rifle earlier this year, a Doha court heard this morning.

The man had stormed a police station southwest of Al Rayyan demanding that two of his sons be released from custody, witnesses testified.

Photo of Lekhwiya vehicle for illustrative purposes only.
Photo of Lekhwiya vehicle for illustrative purposes only.

The three family members fled the station together and led police on a high-speed chase that ended with officers exchanging gunfire with the father, who is currently on trial.

Extra security officers were stationed inside the courtroom and searched the bags of those attending the hearing.

However, the man on trial, who is in custody, declined to attend today’s hearing, according to a note delivered by a prison guard.

No defense lawyer cross-examined witnesses or made themselves known to the court during the 45-minute morning session.

Today’s hearing follows reports of a shooting on the under-construction orbital expressway, which sparked questions about gun usage in Qatar.

It also prompted a warning from the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) in Qatar, an advisory council for U.S companies overseas, to international companies operating here.

Rapid escalation

The first witness to testify was a 32-year-old first lieutenant with Qatar’s internal security force, Lekhwiya.

He said he responded to a complaint from a construction company that its workers were being harassed by one of the defendant’s sons.

The officer testified that the agitator’s two younger brothers arrived at the scene of the incident as their sibling was being arrested. Their efforts to aid their older brother led police to take them into custody as well, the Lekhwiya officer said.

Photo of AK-47 for illustrative purposes only.
Photo of AK-47 for illustrative purposes only.

While the older brother was taken to a Lekhwiya facility, his younger brothers – one of whom was a minor and not handcuffed – were brought to the police station for Mukaynis, which is located off Salwa Road east of the Aqua Park and the Al Udeid Air Base.

Shortly after the siblings were detained, their father learned of the incident. He apparently loaded at least two guns – identified by witnesses as Kalashnikov rifles – into his car and drove to the police station.

When he arrived, the Lekhwiya officer who testified today was in the rear parking lot behind the building with the police station’s supervisor.

The two officers heard shouting and screaming and ran to the front of the building. The Lekhwiya officer said he saw the defendant standing inside the entrance, pointing his gun at officers and yelling, “I want my children!”

Shots fired

As the station supervisor attempted to calm the man, an Al Fazaa officer – who had arrived at the station on an unrelated matter just as the incident began to unfold – grabbed the man’s gun, causing it to discharge twice.

Witnesses said one of the bullets hit the ground and sent fragments flying. The Lekhwiya officer was hit, saying he felt “heat in my arm,” but was not seriously injured.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The station supervisor was struck in the leg, as was the Al Fazaa officer who later told the court that he spent some eight months in recovery.

The Lekhwiya witness said he drew his own gun and aimed it at the defendant, who immediately responded by pointing his own firearm at the officer.

Both men subsequently lowered their weapons as the cop tried to calm the man down by telling him that his sons were fine and that there was no reason to make the situation any worse, the court heard.

With neither of the siblings inside a holding cell, the youngest of the two – who had not been handcuffed – ran out of the station to retrieve another Kalashnikov from his father’s vehicle.

He returned and threatened the police officers in the station before the three males left the building and drove away at a “very high speed,” the Lekhwiya witness said.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

They were followed by police, although the officer was unable to answer the judge’s questions about how far they traveled or how long the pursuit lasted before the vehicle carrying the defendant and his sons was stopped.

The Lekhwiya officer said the man exited the vehicle and began firing his gun without taking aim at any particular target, prompting police to return fire.

Today’s testimony did not indicate how the gunfight ended, beyond that it led to the three family members being taken into custody.

Judge’s questions

While lawyers and prosecutors generally pose the bulk of the questions during criminal trials in Qatar, only the presiding judge addressed the witnesses during this morning’s hearing.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Both the Lekhwiya and Al Fazaa officers were asked what the defendant’s intention was in entering the station with a gun, whether his actions were premeditated and if he could have murdered someone.

In their respective responses, both men said the man’s motive was to terrorize the police and leave with his sons.

The Lekhwiya officer stated:

“I cannot conclusively say if he intentionally fired the gun or not. But entering the police station with a gun in his hand was planned.”

The Al Fazaa officer noted that he observed that the defendant was keeping his finger on the gun’s trigger and that the rifle’s safety mechanism was disengaged.

The next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 19, when the court is scheduled to hear testimony from the police station supervisor.

The judge also requested that the Al Fazaa officer submit a medical report documenting his gunshot injury and that the defendant be notified and given the opportunity to attend the hearing.

Thoughts?

Note: This article has been corrected to reflect that the US Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, did not issue a warning, but rather OSAC in Qatar.

37 COMMENTS

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Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago

It is interesting to me that that a judge would ask a third party what the defendant’s intentions were. Wouldn’t it all be pure speculation unless the defendant had said something that the witness heard? Oh well, it is good to see that there are nutters everywhere and that no one was killed. It is certainly a testament to the patience of the police, that is for sure.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

You’re making a lot of assumptions about the judicial system here . . .

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

Surely filled with some of the finest legal minds that Egypt or the Sudan can produce I’d guess.

disillusioned
disillusioned
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

Not that it is at all relevant, but why would the heritage of the lawyers/judges involved be relevant?

Assuming they are the “finest legal minds” that those two countries can produce, out of a pool of over 100 million people (cumulative population of both), would they be so incompetent as to deserve your snide remarks?

What’s wrong with the judge asking the opinion of an experienced officer of the law about the defendant’s intentions? I found his observations to be insightful, particularly noting that the rifle safety mechanism was off. That would clearly indicate an intent to fire the “locked and loaded” weapon.

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  disillusioned

It is as relevant as the nationality of the shooter and his victims, that is the tone that the article chose, my comment is aligned with it. Snide? Why do you say that? Egypt and Sudan are the legal heavyweights of the Arab world and expat jurists fill Qatar’s judiciary. It is a simple statement of fact. The judge asking for speculation is deeply disturbing. A question on what was observed or done is perfectly acceptable, but speculation on the motives of others is inappropriate. Speculation in court is beyond the ken of a peace officer, they deal in facts – such as that safety was off and the man had his finger on the trigger. Jurists rule on motivation, police do not. Perhaps it is just sloppy translation or writing, I hope so.

WTF
WTF
5 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

The defendant, who is in jail, declined to attend and the judge was OK with that??? The defendant will be notified and given the opportunity to attend the next hearing??? Those facts speak for themselves, no need to make any assumptions the judicial system.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
5 years ago
Reply to  WTF

I was being sarcastic. Maybe the guy is hoping for a diplomatic appointment (again, sarcasm).

UKExpat
UKExpat
5 years ago

Now thats what I call ‘not having a plan’, so the old adage that ‘Actions speak louder than words’ is a load of rubbish!

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  UKExpat

Indeed, not quite a criminal mastermind, is he? Too much time sniffing CLP perhaps?

Huzz
Huzz
5 years ago

Well done to the police on this one. They displayed great restraint.

Couple of things:

How come we are only hearing of this story now?

Why was the man allowed not to attend the hearing even though he is in custody? He should have been brought to the hearing by force.

Why are people allowed to own these weapons in the first place? (Don’t go telling me about the USA. We know that gun control is a mess there already)

steve
steve
5 years ago

nawa ooooo

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

I enjoyed this story, some of the stuff that goes on here is nuts. (There is still lots in the news you don’t here about and it’s just as good if not better…..)

Obviously not the smartest person, entering a police station with a gun is never going to end well and where did he get two Kalashnikovs? Has mega mart got a sale on or something…..

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

The Terminator did it, and it worked out just fine for him.

mamba9
mamba9
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

He’s lucky this happened in Qatar. If this was the States ,he and his kids might have been killed!

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  mamba9

especially if he was Black , google ( COPS KILL BLACK ) & see for your self .

Sam777
Sam777
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

You are right, finally someone says it like it is.
However, the debate still whether it is better to have a few nuts in a country the size of the US or have a whole nation that still enslaves people in the 21st century.

The US and Europe are accepting Syrians. Now isn’t that something or is it something 🙂

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Sam777

few nuts??? we are talking about states twice the size of qatar ,& US & EU can host & able to , they have the population/ land / sources
us population 300 mil & taking less than 20000 refuge . Qatar has a population ( actual population of 300k (+/-) with limited water/agriculture how many should we take???? . if Iran ( who is supporting this crazy war )closes the gulf water access . WE will be depending on others to get our daily needs . ( dont forget Qatar has Syrian expat )

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

Syrian expats in Qatar are employees, not humanitarian cases. It is a false equivalence.

qatari
qatari
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

people how cant get back home ??? ( with no home ) , who Qatar allowed to stay after the end of their contract , check with MOI if they sent any Syrian , and he did say Syrians in his comment, didn’t say refuge , US is talking refuges ( selectively ) , we are allowing people who might not have homes in a country where there is war to stay. calling it humanitarian cases or whatever is your preference . ( LETS stick to the story for once )

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

Yes, let’s. The U.S. has excepted 1,400,000 percent more Syrians that Qatar, yet the U.S. is on the other side of the world. Austria, a small country has accepted for more, as have the Germans. Moreover, all of these countries are willing to grant these refugees a pathway to citizenship. So long as Qatar refuses to let a single refugee in, you have absolutely no standing, and it’s pathetic that you would even attempt to defend such gross indifference to humanity.

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

You are still comparing apples and potatoes. But back to the story – will the dude be facing the death penalty do you think? Is he from a well known Qatari crime family? Give us the gossip making the rounds on the Blackberry network.

AEC
AEC
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

Jerry Seinfeld, Paula Abdul, Steve Jobs.. plenty of Syrians in the US. Just check out Paterson, NJ and you’ll find plenty.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

Expats are not the same as refugees. It’s not charity; it’s payment for services provided. Qatar continuously boasts how many tourists it can accommodate, how empty it’s hotel are, etc. There is space and resources for refugees in Qatar, just not the will to help out our Arabs brothers and sisters. To say that Qatar can accommodate not a single one is ridiculous, as it is pathetic.

While there is much I like and dislike about Qatar, I have never been more disappointed in Qatar than over this.

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

Indeed. The fault lines and biases of Arab brotherhood has never been more on display, has it?

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
5 years ago
Reply to  Sam777

Are your points about enslavement and refugees really relevant to this story?

WTF
WTF
5 years ago
Reply to  qatari

You are right, whites have no problem storming into U.S. Police stations carrying loaded Kalashnikov machine guns. They are often treated to donuts and coffee.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
5 years ago
Reply to  WTF

Deleting this thread of not being relevant to the story.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  mamba9

Yep, if it was the US his body would have 37 bullet wounds and they would have probably shot his kid as well.

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
5 years ago

Can we not use “cop”, it just sounds so slang. Does DN know the law regarding fire arms? Anyone can own a firearm? Do you need a license? Age restriction? Type of weapon restriction? Just curious, I recall seeing a hunting shop in Villagio years ago that had guns??? I’m actually a little surprised there isn’t more gun crime. Good story,,wow! Movie material.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

Only locals can own firearms under licence, but not a Kalashnikov. For expats it’s a big fat no.

MIMH
5 years ago

BTW, emphasis on Kalashnikov. I know my guns like I know the alphabet.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
5 years ago

My question is this: where did the guy and his sons seriously think they would go? Qatar is about the size of a postage stamp, and the police knew who he was.

Maddix
Maddix
5 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

He’s an IDIIIIOOOOOOT!!

Ali
Ali
5 years ago

It’s a land dispute

sadam
sadam
5 years ago

Now I wanna hear from the nut job who said that video games is the cause of violence.

Edward
Edward
5 years ago

It seems like the police acted very admirably — for example, showing restraint and trying to deescalate the situation, not opening fire until they really had to (i.e., then the perpetrator started shooting). Then again, I wonder if that is because the suspect is Qatari and the police are not? We don’t know from the article.

Joe
Joe
5 years ago

Apparently, local media didn’t find this story newsworthy!

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