When Youssef Abdel-Gawad heard a man with a gun attempting to break into his house in Huntington Station last August, he fired back at the intruders, one of whom was struck by the bullet and later died.
Now, despite his attorney’s insisting that it was a clear case of self-defense, Abdel-Gawad, 25, has been indicted on manslaughter charges.
In court on Monday, Abdel-Gawad pleaded not guilty to charges of second degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
Abdel-Gawad’s family has shared surveillance video footage of the Aug. 21 incident, which shows five alleged burglars trying to break into their home.
As four of the men hid behind a metal shed in the backyard, one approached the sliding door at the rear of the house Abdel-Gawad shared with his brother and parents.
News 12 Long Island reports that one of the burglars pulled out a gun and a flash appeared, which seemed to be the burglar firing into the house.
A confrontation ensued at the door, and the men fled the scene. As the men fled onto an adjoining property, Abdel-Gawad fired two shots at the group. Jazzmen Bryant, 33, was hit by a bullet, and died later.
Prosecutors have said that no bullets were recovered at the scene, making it difficult to determine if the alleged burglar did fire shots into the home.
At court on Monday in Riverhead, Abdel-Gawad’s mother insisted that her son was just trying to protect his family; she stated that he is a good young man with aspirations of becoming a police officer.
Prosecutors asked that Abdel-Gawad be held on $50,000 bail. The judge, however, deemed that he could be released without bail if he surrendered his passport and wore a tracking device.
The case is set to return to court later this week.
Abdel-Gawad has a criminal history. In 2011, he pleaded guilty to unlawfully fleeing a police officer, for which he was sentenced to 60 days in jail.
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