Iraqi National Shoots Colorado Police Officer in Head While Out on Bail
An Iraqi national is in police custody after shooting an officer in the head.
Karrar Al Khammasi, 31, shot Colorado Springs Officer Cem Duzel in the head on Aug. 2. Duzel is in critical but stable condition, Fox News reported. Al Khammasi has a criminal record that has grown over the past five years yet was never deported.
Al Khammasi lived in the Pikes Peak region of Colorado for at least five years and in that time court records show he made contact with police on nine occasions, according to The Gazette.
His criminal history began with a drunk driving charge in 2013. A month later, he was charged with criminal extortion. Authorities believe he threatened a family and set fire to their car, Fox News reported.
A man in the crosshairs of Al Khammasi’s threats in that incident said that Al Khammasi’s “behavior began to change when he came into money and was drinking and possibly using drugs,” according to a court affidavit obtained by The Gazette.
In 2014 he was sentenced to two years of probation after a guilty plea on a first-degree trespassing charge. He was on an immigration hold at the time, according to Fox News.
In January of this year he was arrested for a stolen handgun, and was free on bail. He was set to go back to court on Aug. 3, the day after he allegedly shot the officer, Fox reported.
For the alleged shooting he was charged with attempted first-degree murder, possession of a weapon by a previous offender, and felony menacing. He is being held without bond, according to Fox.
The conditions of Al Khammasi’s entry into the United States are unclear. The reasons why he was never deported despite his convictions are also unclear.
El Paso County sheriff’s spokesman Jacqueline Kirby confirmed Al Khammasi was born in Iraq, but took back her statement that he was a refugee. She admitted she wasn’t sure what his immigration status was, according to The Gazette.