WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — An immigrant from Jordan was shot and killed during a double homicide in Southeast DC on Sunday night.
A spokesperson for the Embassy of Jordan confirmed Hamza Abu Halaoh was one of two people killed. And, stated the consulate is in contact with the FBI and local authorities about the shooting.
According to police, the shooting took place during a car chase along 11 Street SE around 8:25 p.m. A black SUV crashed during the shooting. Inside, two men were killed and a third person was injured.
Police identified one victim as 34-year-old Othanial Gaither. They had not identified Halaoh as the second victim as of Wednesday, saying that the identification would not be released pending notification of next of kin.
However, a relative of Halaoh spoke to DC News Now and confirmed the embassy did notify the family of his death.
“What happened is a tragedy thing for us, it was a shock for me and his family,” said Osama Abu Halaweh, who is a cousin of Halaoh. “(Hamza) he’s a very decent guy. He’s a supporter. He always supported his family, his friends. Everybody loves him. He’s very friendly, he’s very polite, he’s not a troublemaker. Not at all.”
Halaweh said his cousin moved to Washington several months ago and worked to support his twin daughters and wife back in Jordan. He said Halaoh was working as a driver and was the person behind the wheel of the SUV that was targeted Sunday.
“He was dreaming — when I grow up I’ll go to America, I will live the American dream, I will work for my family,” said Halaweh. “The criminal rate in Washington, no one can live in that situation. If he’s just working and gets shot, what’s the meaning of life?”
Police said Monday that officials believe the attack was targeted. A gun was recovered near the scene, however, police don’t think any shots were fired from the SUV. They did not recover any guns from the victims.
Police are searching for a sedan that fled the area at the time of the shooting.
Anyone with information is asked to call police. A reward of up to $50,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest in this case.