An Arizona state trooper shot and killed a Qatari man who was in the US on a student visa after he violently attacked the officer patrolling for drunken drivers along with a member of the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving, authorities said on Friday.
The state trooper spotted 25-year-old Mohamed Ahmed al-Hashemi throw a street sign onto a road in suburban Phoenix late Thursday and ordered him to pick it up, said Col. Frank Milstead, director of the Department of Public Safety.
Al-Hashemi wouldn’t pick it up, then began walking in the middle of the road and wouldn’t obey commands to stop, Milstead said.
Trooper Hugh Grant used a stun gun but it didn’t subdue Al-Hashemi, who then rushed the officer and punched and kicked him.
“It was a vicious encounter," Milstead said before showing dashboard camera video of the attack. “He was in a fight for his life."
The video shows the men tussling, and at one point, Al-Hashemi throws Grant to the ground. The trooper fired his weapon, killing Al-Hashemi, the DPS chief said.
Grant feared for his life and the life of a woman riding along with him as a member of the group also known as MADD.
Police often allow private citizens and journalists to come on “ride-alongs” while they patrol.
Authorities say Al-Hashemi had several encounters with police over the last few days and had trespassed at the Islamic Community Center of Tempe recently. It’s unclear how long Al-Hashemi has been living in the US and whether he was enrolled in school.
Authorities said they didn’t know if Al-Hashemi was impaired.
The trooper had injuries to his face and head and is resting at home.