Al Khammasi, an Iraqi refugee, was convicted of first-degree attempted murder in June
According to reports, a Colorado jury sentenced a Colorado Springs police officer to 45 years in prison on Thursday for shooting and brain-damaging him in 2018.
Officer Kem Duzel was responding to a one-shot fire call in the city’s Knob Hill neighborhood in August 2018 when he ran into Karrar Al Khammasi, who shot him in the head, according to Granthshala 21 in Colorado Springs. Al Khammasi was kicked out of Uber by a female driver who said he was harassing her.
Al Khammasi is an Iraqi refugee who was to be deported in 2016 on a felony charge but was allowed to stay because of a change in law, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.
He was convicted of first-degree attempted murder in June. According to Granthshala 21, he was also convicted of assault, threatening a police officer and illegal possession of a weapon.
“This case really speaks volumes about the dangers that law enforcement faces every day,” District Attorney Michael Allen said Thursday. “And it’s not on the streets of New York City or Los Angeles; it’s right here in Colorado Springs.”
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Duzel went through months of rehabilitation after the shooting, and his injury forced him to retire from the force. He still hasn’t fully recovered. In 2019, he received the department’s highest honour: the Medal of Valor.
Howard Black, spokesman for the Fourth Judicial District, said, “This man is a hero, he stopped a threat that night, he stopped the possibility of hurting or killing other individuals by his courageous contact with an armed suspect.” Granthshala 21.
Duzel and his family on Thursday thanked everyone for their support during his recovery over the past three years. The ex-officer is now planning a summer wedding with his fiancé.
“Today was a bandh,” said his father, Mumtaz Duzel, according to gazette. “As a father, was that enough? Probably not, to be honest, but justice was done today.”