Second arrest in death of Yosif Al-Hasnawi
Suspect at home of relative in Hagersville
Hamilton police have arrested a second-degree murder suspect in the shooting death of Yosif Al-Hasnawi.
Det. Sgt. Steve Bereziuk said a team of Hamilton and provincial police arrested Dale Burningsky King, 19, at the Hagersville home of a female relative about 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
That unidentified 55-year-old woman was also arrested and faces an accessory charge for allegedly helping King evade capture. King spent several days at large, despite a warrant for his arrest on a second-degree murder charge.
James Matheson, 20, is also charged with accessory after the fact to murder.
Al-Hasnawi was shot last Saturday after trying to stop two men harassing an older man on Main Street East, near the Al-Moustafa Islamic Centre, where he had been taking part in a religious celebration. The 19-year-old aspiring doctor has since been hailed as a
“Good Samaritan” and a hero by police and community members.
Bereziuk said he spoke to AlHasnawi’s family Thursday night and they told him they were “very happy” to hear news of the arrest.
The homicide detective also expressed “a sense of relief ” King was in custody, noting police converged on his suspected hiding place on King Street West in Hagersville knowing the handgun used in the shooting was still missing. The gun is still missing, he said, but a search of the Hagersville home is underway. King was unarmed and arrested without incident Thursday.
Bereziuk also said he has seen no evidence of police “misconduct” the night Al-Hasnawi was shot.
Witnesses have alleged paramedics accused the victim of faking his injuries at the shooting scene.
Amin Al-Tahir, director at the mosque, told The Spectator the ambulance left the scene without sirens or flashing lights. “I think if they acted really quickly, they can save his life.”
The allegations have spurred an internal probe by Hamilton EMS and an independent investigation by the Ministry of Health.
Hamilton paramedic Chief Mike Sanderson told a committee meeting of councillors Thursday he couldn’t speak publicly about the matter with the independent probe underway. But councillors said they were told ministry interviews of paramedics could begin next week.
Bereziuk wouldn’t comment on paramedics’ conduct, adding he hasn’t been asked to participate in the ministry probe. He did say his review of records suggests paramedics arrived at 9:01 p.m. and the ambulance left with Al-Hasnawi at 9:39 p.m. He cautioned that those numbers are “not definitive.”
Witnesses have questioned the length of time it took to get Al-Hasnawi to hospital, where he was pronounced dead around 10 p.m.
Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit is “pursuing preliminary inquiries” to determine whether there is a basis for an investigation of police conduct. Bereziuk said “should misconduct be identified,” he’s confident the “appropriate investigation would be undertaken.”
“But I can tell you at this time I have not seen that,” he said. “Officers were quick to approach, they rendered first aid immediately and upon ambulances arriving a short time later … that patient was turned over to EMS personnel.”
Bereziuk said police quickly placed Al-Hasnawi in “the recovery position” — on his side — but added paramedics took over his care almost immediately.
Dale Burningsky King, 19