(AP / FOX 11) - Los Angeles County prosecutors have charged a man who shot and killed his son with premeditated murder, alleging that he committed the crime because his son was gay.
Shehada Issa, 69, said he shot his son in self-defense after he discovered his wife's dead body in their house.
The district attorney's office said Friday that Issa had allegedly threatened to kill his 29-year-old son, Amir, in the past because he was gay.
"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 the younger man's body outside a 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.
Authorities allege the father used a shotgun in the attack on his son, the Los Angeles Times reported.
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 in the process of evicting the son.
An investigation into who killed Issa's wife is ongoing.
Issa is being held without bail pending his arraignment on April 11.
He faces life in prison if convicted of the charge.
From Phil Shuman:
The shotgun murder of Amir Issa last week ‘’simply because he was gay‘’ was a shocker to many, in particular those still fighting for acceptance of gay and lesbian and transgender people.
Issa, 38 was apparently hated by his father for being gay, one part of a tragic family dynamic that still hasn’t been completely explained, but one that according to the District Attorney ended with the father killing the son.The mother was also found stabbed to death outside their fenced and locked and camera guarded North Hills home, officially her killing is still under investigation and the father has not been charged in that as of Monday afternoon.
In following up this story, I talked with members of a ‘‘movement‘ as they called it, calling Somos Familia Valle, or we are a Valley Family. They fight to prevent exactly what happend to Amir Issa.
I spoke with a young man named Kevin today, who came out at 15 and talked about the pain that caused him and his family.“ I hope this causes more communication, more talks’‘ he said. Ronnie came out and was literally kicked out of his house, but his family has since reconciled with him and it’s all good, but it took time.
This issue is one that causes incredible and unnecessary mental anguish on so many sides, but the bottom line, says Ronnie and Kevin, is that ‘‘family acceptance saves lives.’’ That means accepting and loving your kids for whoever they are. Sounds obvious to most of us, but if the allegations in the Issa family are true, there are many that still have a long road to travel.