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Hamilton police identify alleged shooter in murder of Good Samaritan

Last Updated Dec 4, 2017 at 5:37 pm EDT

A Hamilton police cruiser is seen in an undated file photo. CITYNEWS

Police in Hamilton say they’ve arrested one man in the fatal shooting of a Good Samaritan and are looking for a second suspect.

Yousif Al-Hasnawi was shot when he tried to intervene as two men were accosting an older man in downtown Hamilton on Saturday night.

Police say they arrested James Anthony Robert Matheson at around 3:30 a.m. Monday and charged the 20-year-old with accessory after the fact to murder.

Hamilton police say they have identified Dale Burningsky King, 19, as the alleged shooter and are in the process of applying for a warrant for second-degree murder.

Police have described 19-year-old Al-Hasnawi as a brave young man who was trying to do the right thing.

“This young man was doing what he felt was right in the situation,” Det. Sgt. Steve Bereziuk told reporters. “He was a brave young man.”

Police said paramedics took Al-Hasnawi to hospital on Saturday night, where he died of his injuries.

Talib Al-Jalili said Al-Hasnawi had come out of the Al-Mostafa Islamic Centre when he noticed two men picking on an older man.

“He saw an old man walking by here with two people who were trying to harass him, assault him, hit him, laughing at him,” Al-Jalili told reporters on Sunday. “He only told him ‘leave the old man alone.”’

Al-Jalili criticized paramedics who arrived on scene, arguing they didn’t take Al-Hasnawi’s injury seriously.

“They thought he was acting. The man was in severe pain inside his abdomen, why would he act?” Al-Jalili said.

Tom Raczynski, who lives in the area, said he heard screams that drew him out of his home on Saturday night. There wasn’t much blood to be seen, he said, but the young man was clearly in distress.

“He was lying there complaining he was hurting and they kept saying he was faking,” Raczynski said of paramedics and police at the scene.

“The one paramedic kept saying ‘oh you’re a good actor,”’ Raczynski said. “I just thought it was disgusting. Like somebody’s shot, you take him in to the hospital, you don’t leave him lying there.”

A spokeswoman with Hamilton Paramedic Service did not comment on the allegations Monday morning, but said she hoped to have an update on the situation later in the day.

Hamilton police also would not comment on the allegations, but a spokeswoman said officers were dispatched at 8:57 p.m. and arrived on scene at 9:01 p.m.

Al-Hasnawi was a first-year medical science student at Brock University, the school said.

“The Brock community is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the death of our colleague Yosif Al-Hasnawi,” said Brock University president Gervan Fearon.

“Our deepest sympathies go to his family.”

Police said they are looking for the man who was allegedly being accosted by the two suspects as well the handgun that was used in the incident.