DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Life was not easy for Ahmed Al-Jumaili, 36, in his native Iraq.READ MORE: Texas Secretary Of State Says Some Counties Still Had Old Application For Mail-In Ballots On Their Websites
He survived bombings but growing fears over terrorism groups like ISIS forced him to move somewhere safe.
Al-Jumaili traveled halfway across the world and was finally reunited with his wife in Texas.
But after spending just 20 days in Dallas according to his family, Dallas Police said Al-Jumaili was shot dead while taking picture of the snow early Thursday morning.
“He had a car and was trying to find a decent job to start his life,” said Mohammed Altaae, Al-Jumaili’s father-in-law. “We’re looking for safe place. Well educated, in a good environment. What he got was a bullet in his heart.”
Investigators said they have not ruled out a “bias” motive yet, but do not have any evidence to support it either. Al-Jumaili was a practicing Muslim.
“We’re basically on a heightened sense of awareness right now,” said Alia Salem of the Dallas branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Officer Monica Cordova says witness told police some unknown men were randomly firing when a bullet struck the victim.READ MORE: Texas Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne Introduces Resolution Recognizing Heroes Of Synagogue Hostage Situation
However, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations tells CBS 11, because of a rise in incidents against Muslims, they wonder if this shooting was actually random.
Nearby residents say they heard lots of gunshots.
“That was out of the ordinary,” said Maurice Lincoln. “We heard a series of five shots, then it stopped. Then all of a sudden, what was that? Than more shots.”
“They were coming from the exit gate. My son-in law and his wife had just come out to take pictures of the snow, because the snow yesterday was [a lot], and they came from there and came here and started shooting,” said Mohammed Altaae.
Several parked vehicles in the area were also hit by gunfire.
Salem wants anyone who knows something to come forward. “What I think is that wrong place and wrong person. That’s what I think.”
Funeral arrangements for Al-Jumaili have not been set.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Has Taken Toll On Mental Health, Experts Say
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