A man from North Hills, California, allegedly killed his son because he was gay.
Shehada Khalil Issa, 69, was charged on April 1 with one count of willful, deliberate and premeditated murder, KNBC reports. A special allegation has been included in the felony complaint that states he personally and intentionally discharged a shotgun and that he allegedly murdered his son because of his sexual orientation, Los Angeles County prosecutors said.
On March 29, Shehada’s 29-year-old son, Amir, was found shot in the abdomen and face in the front yard of the family’s home, according to the Los Angeles Times. His mother, Rabihah Issa, was found dead in the home's bathroom.
Amir was pronounced dead at the scene, and Rabibah reportedly had been dead “for a while” with her body displaying signs of “some sort of foul play,” said Sgt. Greg Bruce of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Prosecutors allege Shehada had previously threatened to kill his son 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.
Shehada has admitted to killing Amir with a shotgun, Bruce said. He did not provide an explanation for the reasons behind the killing.
LAPD detectives are familiar with the family as they were currently involved in evicting Amir from an apartment on the property because his parents wanted to sell the home.
The son of the Issas' neighbor heard the gunshots and ran outside to see what was happening.
Shehada told Francisco Gonzalez Jr. "everything is fine now," reports the Los Angeles Times.
Gonzalez had spoken with Shehada many times before and considered him a “great guy” who had confided in him about the troubles with his son.
“Drugs can mess up your life,” Gonzalez recalled Shehada telling him. “My son had a great life, and then he did drugs and it all went away.”
In December, Amir posted a video to Facebook of him having an expletive-filled, heated debate about sex with two people he identified as his parents, the Daily Mail reports.
The man in the video, who is presumably Shehada, calls Amir a pervert and says he should be castrated.
Shehada is being held without bail and if convicted may face life in prison without the possibility of parole.