A father in Los Angeles has been charged with a hate crime in the shooting death of his son, 29-year-old Amir Issa.
Shehada Issa, 69, had previously threatened to kill his son for being gay. The elder Issa told the police he had found his wife’s body in their home and shot his son in self-defense, but he’s been formally charged with a hate crime.
“The murder was committed because of the victim’s sexual orientation and because of the defendant’s perception of that status and the victims’ association with a person and a group of that status,” prosecutors said in a statement.
Issa was arrested Tuesday after Los Angeles police officers found his son’s body outside their house in the city’s North Hills area. Issa’s wife was found stabbed to death inside the house.
Detectives said Issa told officers he found his wife’s body in a bathroom.
“He claimed (the son) was armed with a knife, and there was no knife to be found (there). It was a horrible family tragedy,” Detective John Doerbecker told the Daily News .
The Los Angeles Times reported that “drugs and mental illness” may have influenced Shehada and Amir’s relationship. The investigation into the death of Shehada’s wife, Rabihah Issa, 68, is ongoing, but Shehada has admitted to shooting his son with a shotgun.
Doerbecker told the Daily News that there had been problems between the father and son, including the son reportedly vandalizing the home. He said the couple was evicting the son.
Issa was being held without bail pending his arraignment on April 11.
He faces life in prison if convicted of the charge.
(Image of Amir Issa via Facebook)