Man charged with negligent homicide after accidentally shooting brother

The slain man, a lawyer and local council comptroller, was hit by a lone bullet fired during an argument.

 POLICE CORDON LINE: DO NOT CROSS (photo credit: VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
POLICE CORDON LINE: DO NOT CROSS
(photo credit: VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Khaled Awad, 37, was indicted on Thursday by the Haifa District Attorney's Office for the negligent homicide of his brother, Hussein, 46 last month. 

Hussein, a lawyer and local council comptroller, was hit by a lone bullet fired during an argument between the two with their brother-in-law, Muhammad, 42, over a dispute between Muhammad and their sister, who left home. The incident took place in the yard of the couple's house.

According to the indictment filed in the Haifa District Court through prosecutor Adv. Rami Salameh, Hussein and Khaled brothers arrived at the house with Khaled holding a loaded gun. Three children aged 13, 11 and eight, were also present at the time.

Salameh added that the tragic incident occurred after an exchange of telephone messages that included insults and threats between the late Hussein and Muhammad.

The two brothers demanded that Muhammad open the gate. Khaled had already pulled out his gun.

Israel police car (Illustrative) (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)Israel police car (Illustrative) (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Muhammad opened the gate after equipping himself with a hammer. Immediately after the brothers entered the yard, a physical and verbal confrontation began between Khaled and Muhammad during which they pushed each other.

The indictment states that Muhammad noticed Khaled approaching him with the pistol in his hand and hit him with the hammer in the forehead. Khaled fired one shot from the gun that hit the forehead of his brother Awad, who was standing very close to him, leading to his death.

The prosecution claimed that he was negligent about the possibility of causing death or serious injury. The Magen David Adom (MDA) medic and paramedic team that arrived at the scene found Hussein with no signs of life and determined his death. 

After the shooting, near the yard fence, Muhammad pushed Khaled to the fence and Khaled jumped from it into the street with the gun in his hand, threw the gun at a neighbor living nearby, and ordered him to hide it.

The neighbor agreed and threw the gun at the courtyard of a mosque next to the house. According to the indictment, shortly after, Khaled returned to the scene, checked with the neighborhood where the gun was, went to the mosque with another man, broke the lock of the mosque gate, took the gun from the mosque surface and fled with it.

The next day he confessed to the police, was arrested and has since remained in custody.

The two gave detailed versions of the story to the police, as did eyewitnesses who said that after the incident they saw Khaled on the street holding a gun. Khaled himself evoked the right to remain silent for most of the questions.

On Thursday, the prosecution sought to detain him until the end of the legal proceedings against him, noting the danger posed to him by the brother-in-law in particular and the public in general, while also mentioning that he has a criminal record, including five previous convictions for violence, drugs and property crimes.

Judge Nitzan Silman will set a date for a hearing on the body of this request, and in the meantime, he extended the detention until a later decision with the consent of the defense attorney, Adv. Sasson Bar-Oz is studying the investigation file.

Bar-Oz, Khaled's defense attorney, denied the charges. "According to him, the brother-in-law Muhammad is the one who grabbed the gun and pulled the trigger." The gun has not yet been found.