Hamilton police are investigating the death of Yosif Al-Hasnawi

Police and EMS misconduct could have been the main reason for Al-Hasnawi’s death.

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Police and EMS misconduct could have been the main reason for Al-Hasnawi’s death.

Witnesses including a local Muslim leader say paramedics told a dying Hamilton man he was shot by a pellet gun and merely acting injured before he died in hospital less than an hour later.

Hamilton police have arrested two men in connection with the murder of 19-year-old Yosif Al-Hasnawi. The teenager was fatally shot Saturday evening while trying to stop two men from harassing an older man near a mosque in central Hamilton. Investigators say the duo turned to Al-Hasnawi and shot him for intervening.

Yosif Al-Hasnawi, 19, was shot dead Saturday night outside a mosque in central Hamilton after trying to stop two men from harassing an older man on the street.

With this, the Hamilton emergency services department is launching an investigation into how paramedics treated Yosif Al-Hasnawi at the scene. Witnesses claim that they didn’t take his injuries seriously at first, leaving him on the sidewalk for over 30 minutes; they had apparently kept reassuring all the bystanders that it was merely a pellet shot and nothing more serious than that. Witnesses also say that both police and paramedics were saying that the victim was acting and believed he could stand up on his own. When asked about these allegations that first responders did not act soon enough, Hamilton police said this is not their main concern right now, claiming that their main concern is to catch the alleged shooters.

Al-Hasnawi, who was hoping to become a doctor, was shot and killed near a mosque in Hamilton Saturday evening. He lay on the sidewalk for several minutes before he was taken to hospital.

Al-Hasnawi¬†was trying to help an older man he didn’t know who was being “accosted” by two other men, police say. When¬†Al-Hasnawi¬†intervened, the men turned their attention to him and shot him around 9 p.m. Police believe the weapon was a handgun.

Tom Raczynski was watching a movie at home when he went outside and saw a man lying on the sidewalk. Raczynski said he also overheard paramedics say Al-Hasnawi was acting.

“They were telling him it was a pellet gun, that he was fine,” Raczynski told CBC News. “And he says, ‘Then why does it hurt?'”

Further to this, his family and friends are questioning why he was brought to St. Josephs hospital when he was closer to the General, which specializes in trauma; the delay in reaching the former could potentially have been one of the main causes for his death. The police have yet to respond to these allegations and have issued the following statement as a response:

‚ÄúIn the event that any police misconduct is identified during the investigation, the Hamilton police service will take the appropriate steps to have the matter reviewed.‚ÄĚ

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