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Family of man killed defending dad speaks out

Rasmi Hijaz, 62, speaks about an alleged armed robbery attempt in Lynwood on Sunday, March 18, 2012, that left his 26-year-old son dead and him injured.

March 19, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Family members of a man fatally shot while trying to defend his father from an armed robber in Lynwood are speaking out.

Police said Rasmi Hijaz, 62, and his 26-year-old son Basil Hijaz were approached by two men as they were leaving a Starbucks in the 10900 block of Atlantic Avenue about 3:45 p.m. Sunday.

The father and son were sitting in their car when one of the suspects walked up to the older Hijaz sitting in the driver's seat and asked him if he sold marijuana.

Hijaz said he told them he was an old man and wasn't into drugs. The suspects then allegedly demanded money from Hijaz. That's when Hijaz said one of the suspects pulled a gun on him, so he struggled with the gunman to gain control of the weapon.

"One of the kids just grabbed his gun and hit him right in the eye and the other kid hit him with his hands, so he just pushed one of the kids," said Ali Hijaz, the victim's cousin.

At that point, his son rushed out of the car to help his father and one of the suspects shot him multiple times in the upper body.

"It was like 3 in the afternoon and there was over like 10, 15 people at Starbucks sitting outside and inside, across the street, people walking around," Ali Hijaz said.

Police say the suspects, described only as two Black men 18 to 20 years old, ran away. They are interviewing witnesses.

The victims were taken to the hospital, where the son later died. The father suffered a swollen eye and other minor injuries.

Family members said the killing makes no sense.

"That's kind of terrorist, that's all I can say," said the victim's uncle, Zatter Jbara.

"Those are the real terrorists in the world, those people who are killing every day people for no reason," Ali Hijaz said.

Hijaz said his son was a good person who treated others kindly.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

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