Employee jailed for shooting masked burglars, cop asks him: ‘Why didn’t you run out back door?’

A Virginia smoke shop employee faces years in prison for reportedly firing his gun at masked burglars attempting to rob the establishment.

The outraged owner of the store defended his employee during an interview Tuesday with Fox News host Tucker Carlson who also expressed his anger over the incident.


(Source: Fox News)

“They had broken into the store, three men with masks on,” Jowan Zuber, the owner of the Arlington smoke shop said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” adding that “the neighbor upstairs said when they broke the window it sounded like a car smashing into the store.”

That employee was 33-year-old Hamzeh Abushariah who happened to be sleeping in the store amid social distancing orders in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. He was awakened early Sunday morning when three juvenile suspects allegedly broke in the store to “steal cash and merchandise,” WJLA reported.

According to police, the employee “opened the door to the sales floor and discharged the weapon, striking one juvenile subject. The employee retreated to the back room but reentered the sales floor and discharged his weapon again as the subjects were attempting to flee the business.”

“Hamzeh, the employee, he said it sounded like a shotgun, and when he woke up he said he just reached for the pistol,” Zuber told Carlson, adding that he shot at the suspects to “scare them,” and ended up hitting one of them.

“When police came, we thought we were in the right,” Zuber explained, but added “the cops [were] treating us like we were the ones that caused the harm.”

Abushariah now reportedly faces charges of malicious wounding, violation of a protective order and reckless handling of a firearm.

“It’s very sad for America today as American citizens practice their Second Amendment to protect the store and their lives,” Zuber said. “Do you know what the police officers told him? ‘Why didn’t you run out the back door?’”

He told Carlson that the $25,000 bond he attempted to bail out his employee with was appealed by the prosecutor, and he indicated he was concerned for the health of the father of two as he was coughing heavily behind bars.

“This is very sad,” Zuber said. “I was born in Arlington, I pay taxes. The gun is registered and everything is perfect. But I can’t believe as American citizens, we are being treated like this. And this gets the criminals out there [thinking] ‘We can go rob stuff, kill people and hurt people and guess what, people have to run out the back door’. This is mind-boggling.”

“I can’t remember a story that has made me as mad as this one and I appreciate you so clearly describing what happened,” Carlson responded. “I wish I knew that cop’s name because he should be ashamed of what he said.”

Arlington/Falls Church Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti defended the charges in a statement on Monday.

“I cannot ethically discuss an ongoing investigation because doing so would not only risk compromising our work but also unfairly impede on the rights of the accused and interfere with the investigation,” the statement read. “Suffice it to say, there is evidence we are not at liberty to share that support the charges, the decision was not made lightly, and we ask the public not to rush to judgment on what is very much a live investigation.”

The would-be robber who was shot by Abushariah suffered injuries that were “serious but not life-threatening,” according to police. “The other two subjects fled the scene on foot prior to police arrival.”

Twitter users were as outraged as Carlson and Zuber, blasting the police department and the Arlington/Falls Church Attorney’s Office.

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
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Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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