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US: Moroccan man shot dead in Texas, shooter avoids arrest

Adil Dghoughi was shot while sitting in his car. Police say they have not placed the shooter in custody
The Sheriff’s Office said the shooting occurred after a homeowner confronted a "suspicious" car parked outside his home.
The Sheriff’s Office said the shooting occurred after a homeowner confronted a "suspicious" car parked outside his home (GoFundMe/Othmane Dghoughi, brother of Adil)

The fatal shooting of an unarmed Moroccan man in Texas has caused an uproar among his family and friends, as well as rights groups who fear justice may not be given due to the US state's laws regarding self-defence.

Earlier this month, 31-year-old Adil Dghoughi, a Moroccan citizen who was residing in the US, was shot while sitting in his car in the small town of Martindale, around 64 kilometres outside of the state's capital, Austin. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

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The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office said the shooting occurred at 3:30am after a homeowner confronted a “suspicious” car parked outside of his home.

In a press release on 11 October, the Sheriff's Office said the shooter had been cooperative with police and that "no person is in custody". It added that the investigation is ongoing.

“We just want more information,” Brahim Mellouli, a close friend of Dghoughi, told The Daily Beast. “We just want justice for him.”

The sheriff's office did not respond to Middle East Eye's request for comment by the time of publication. However, an incident report provided to The Daily Beast provided further details of the shooting and the police's response.

According to the heavily redacted report, the shooter, who has been identified as 65-year-old Terry Turner, is being investigated as a murder suspect.

Still, the Austin chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said that a Texas law may shield the shooter from any punishment.

Texas is one of several jurisdictions in the US that maintains there is "no duty to retreat", which is more commonly known as the "stand your ground" law. The law allows individuals to defend themselves if they feel threatened or their lives are in danger.

'We call for an independent and transparent investigation into the killing of Mr Dghoughi, who was unarmed and in his car when shot'

- Faizan Syed, CAIR-Austin

Since 2005, more than 20 US states have passed similar self-defence laws. A 2020 study conducted by the Rand Corporation found that the laws have increased gun homicides by encouraging armed civilians to escalate confrontations.

"This incident is tragic to the family who lost a loved one under suspicious circumstances," said Faizan Syed, executive director of CAIR-Austin.

"We call for an independent and transparent investigation into the killing of Mr Dghoughi, who was unarmed and in his car when shot," he said in a statement.

The Moroccan national immigrated to the US in 2013 and obtained a master's degree in financial analysis from Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Dghoughi's friends and family to raise money for the cost of his funeral and the transport of his body back to his home country of Morocco. So far, more than $31,000 has been raised.

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