Anyone who has ever worked as a store clerk has probably had nightmarish visions of what would happen if a robbery took place. It’s a scary question to ponder, that is for sure. Unfortunately, this nightmare became a reality for one store clerk recently. Arlington, Virginia was the site of this horrific crime.
Hamzeh Abushariah was working at a local smoke shop in the middle of the night when the attempted robbery went down. Three men barged into the store wearing masks and Hamzeh decided to fire off a few rounds as a means of defending himself. Can you believe that he was treated as the criminal once the police finally arrived on the scene?
The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating a shooting that took place in the Green Valley neighborhood on the morning of March 29, 2020.
At approximately 4:53 a.m., police were dispatched to the report of trouble unknown in the 2400 block of Shirlington Road. The preliminary investigation indicates that three subjects forced entry into a business and began stealing cash and merchandise. An employee inside a secure back room heard the break in, retrieved a firearm, 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.
Arriving officers located the injured juvenile subject outside the business. He was transported by medics to an area hospital with injuries that are considered serious but non-life threatening. The other two subjects fled the scene on foot prior to police arrival.
Following consultation with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, the employee, Hamzeh Abushariah, 33, of Washington D.C. was charged with Malicious Wounding, Reckless Handling of a Firearm and Violation of a Protective Order. He is being held without bond.
Additional charges related to the breaking and entering are anticipated at a later date.
This incident remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit. Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
The police dragged him away in handcuffs over a clear self-defense case. We are appalled but we are not shocked. This is par for the course in the state of Virginia. Hamzeh is facing multiple criminal charges as a result of what took place on this fateful night and our hearts go out to him.
The man remains in jail over something that he did not instigate and we do not know how these people sleep at night. The masked men were stealing merchandise and cash. What was this man supposed to do about that? Apparently, the authorities expected Hamzeh to offer a stern lecture or maybe he was supposed to politely ask them to stop.
3/5 Second, public comments risk impeding the rights of the accused who, while accused, is entitled to the presumption of innocence. In other words, we don’t prematurely discuss the facts of a case because we are obligated to safeguard the accused’s due process rights.
— Arlington & Falls Church Virginia CA (@CA4Arlington) March 30, 2020
Criminals do not understand these types of actions. The only language that they speak is gunfire. Hamzeh wounded one of the suspects but the other two were able to getaway. We are not sure why he is being treated so poorly over something that he could not have avoided. In the future, other store clerks should simply allow their shops to be ransacked.
In the state of Virginia, self-defense is no longer being encouraged. Stories like this one make us wish that we were being conned. It doesn’t seem real, does it? Hamzeh’s horror story feels like something out of a bad movie. Call us crazy but if you catch a few bullets during your robbery attempt, you should probably still be treated like a criminal.
Hamzeh is now being without hold and faces numerous criminal charges. Reckless handling of a firearm and malicious wounding are chief among them. The criminal investigation remains active in the meantime. We hope that this delay gives common sense enough time to prevail. How could anyone look at this story and believe that Hamzeh was the one who was at fault?
It takes a special kind of logic to arrive at that conclusion. Store clerks are placed in a very precarious position every time they go to work. No one is offering them hazard pay but they are putting their lives on the line on a regular basis. Does anyone ever stop to think about that or should criminals be treated like the real victims?
Parisa Dehghani-Tafti has heard the outcry. As the Commonwealth’s Attorney, she is providing some background to what has taken place here. According to her, there is some super secret evidence that we are simply not privy to. This is a convenient explanation, for sure. Why would we be told this if we were not going to be given access to it?
From the looks of it, the Commonwealth has something to hide here and no one should be accepting this story at face value. The evidence that they are not at liberty to share is supposed to validate these charges. What could it even be, though? How is a man supposed to defend himself from robbery if he is going to be the one who ends up on trial?
This is what America has become: an endless parade of excuses. These criminals decided to place a man’s life in danger and they are being treated like the true heroes of the situation. Hamzeh Abushariah is a family man who purchased firearms recently, as a means of keeping his store protected during the coronavirus pandemic. He should not be subjected to this treatment.
Fortunately, Hamzeh’s children were not present during the robbery. The owner of the shop is now taking to the streets to fight on behalf of his jailed employee. Jowan Zuber’s recent Fox News appearance is a must watch and it is hard to argue with the points that he is making. This story is a very sad one and all we can do is hope that justice is able to prevail. No one should ever have to sit in jail without bond because they were doing their best to defend themselves.