Lebanese football star shot in head by stray bullet amid funeral celebratory gunfire
Lebanese football star Mohammad Ahmad Atwi was accidentally shot in the head on Friday after festive gunfire from a funeral for one of the victims of the Beirut explosion.
Atwi was in Beirut’s Al Cola area as mourners shot off rounds of bullets during the funeral of firefighter Joe Bou Saab, who died during the massive explosion at Beirut’s port on August 4.
Bou Saab was the tenth firefighter to have died while on duty - attempting to extinguish the fire at Beirut’s port.
Atwi and another individual were shot by stray bullets as Bou Saab’s coffin was being carried to his hometown in Damour, where he will be buried.
We have lost an inspirational 27yrs cousin who, 10 days after the 4th of August explosion in Beirut, was found dead among the missed Lebanese rescue team firemen, the heroes who lost their life while saving the lives of others. My condolences to your family Joe Bou Saab R.I.P. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/YlHincipEf— Eva Nassif (@EvaNassifVimy) August 17, 2020
Celebratory gunfire is a Lebanese tradition at funerals and weddings, among other major life events.
Al Arabiya English contacted the operations’ section at Al Makassed Hospital and was told that Atwi's “injury is very sensitive and critical and he was suffering of internal bleeding.”
“The bullet has been removed but he remains under operation till now,” the hospital representative said.
In the afternoon, sources from Al Makassed hospital confirmed that Atwi’s condition stabilized and he was moved to the Intensive Care Unit following the five-hour long operation.
Born in 1987, Atwi is a professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for the national team and has so far played for numerous clubs in the Lebanese Premier League’s first division.
A few days prior to the shooting incident, he signed a new contract to rejoin the Lebanese football club Tadamon Sour.
Abou Mohammad Mcheik, a security guard was also shot in his neck by a stray bullet in the same area where Atwi was shot.
Atwi photos have been posted across social media platforms as thousands of fans and supporters prayed for his wellbeing and wished him a speedy recovery.