US Marshals shot and killed an attempted murder suspect outside the Masjid Al Iman mosque in Fort Lauderdale Friday morning.
Marshals were looking for Hamid Ould-Rouis, 58, who was wanted by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office for allegedly assaulting a man and stabbing a woman Thursday in Kissimmee, near Orlando. The woman is in critical condition.
In an email to Heavy, the marshals service said its Florida/Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force “was involved in an officer-involved shooting resulting in a fatality…”
The agency said its deputy marshals were “attempting to apprehend a fugitive who was wanted for attempted homicide in Osceola County, Florida” when agents felt threatened by the suspect. Report says he got out of his vehicle with a gun. “…members of the task force fired their weapons, striking the subject.”
It’s not clear how many agents fired their weapons and how many shots were fired.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Early on, Little Information Was Released by Authorities Including That it Was an Officer-Involved Shooting
From the initial reports from local media, sheriff’s deputies responded to a shots fired call after 11:30 a.m. Friday.
CBS news local affiliate is reporting “there is a dead body next to a car in the parking lot but it’s not known how the person died.”
Initially, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office was reported to be investigating, but the BSO public information officer told Heavy their agency was “assisting” the US Marshals. In a call to the office of Chief W Delaney of the US Marshal’s public affairs office, Heavy learned the “officer-involved shooting” was being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
2. Hours After the Shooting, the US Marshal Service Said Its Deputies Opened Fired on Ould-Rious Because he Had a Gun
The US Marshal Service emailed a statement that read, “The U.S. Marshals Service Florida/Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force was involved in an officer-involved shooting resulting in a fatality in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Friday, May 24. The Marshals were attempting to apprehend a fugitive who was wanted for attempted homicide in Osceola County, Florida.”
Jessica Cary, an FDLE public information officer said that while its “investigation of the law enforcement response to the shooting is active” and they won’t comment on an ongoing investigation, she said, “…once we get to a point in the investigation where we can provide additional information, we will.”
Cary said FDLE will “determine the facts of what happened and a state attorney or prosecutor determines if there are law violations.”
“In response to a threat posed by the subject, members of the task force fired their weapons, striking the subject. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is the lead investigative agency on this incident. The U.S. Marshals Service will also conduct an internal review after the state completes its investigation. As a matter of policy, the U.S. Marshals Service will not release the names of deputy marshals involved in shooting incidents, until the conclusion of all investigations surrounding the incident.”
3. Marshals Were Hunting Ould-Rious For an Attempted Murder Thursday in Kissimmee, Florida
Few details were provided save that Ould-Rious was wanted in connection with the beating of a man, unnamed, and the near-fatal stabbing of a woman.
Apparently a tip was received that Ould-Rious was in the Fort Lauderdale area and the US Marshals were called in to try to apprehend him.
4. Ould-Rious Had Been Arrested for Trying to Kill His Estranged Wife in March But the Case Was Dropped
Ould-Rouis was arrested on March 13 by the Osceloa County Sheriff on felony charges including kidnapping/false imprisonment and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill.
According to court records obtained by Heavy, Ould-Rouis was freed and the case dropped.
The charging documents in that case describe a violent, vicious and terrifying domestic where Ould-Rious threatened his wife and her friend. He heated a pot of cooking oil to boiling and threatened to burn her and her girlfriend if his wife, with whom he was separated, did not agree to take him back in. He also reportedly used a stun gun on her body and stopped her from trying to get away. The incident was witnessed by his two children.
Police arrested Ould-Rious and charged him with two felonies. But, according to the report, the women declined to prosecute Ould-Rious. After being locked up and making several court appearances, the court files show that a month later, according to felony court minutes, the prosecutors had not made a charging decision and he was released. The case is marked as closed.
It is not clear if the woman who was stabbed and is in critical condition is his wife.
The incident took place at the Kareem Cuisine restaurant in Kissimmee. A highly-rated Halal eatery, it “permanently closed” around the same time of the assault in March. It was dubbed a “family-owned” Mediterranean cuisine restaurant. A search of the Florida corporations database is underway for more information.
5. The Mosque Says Ould-Rious Was Not Connected to Its Community & Law Enforcement Agreed
A spokesperson for the U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Florida said the suspect wasn’t involved “in any way, nor the subject with the mosque, but those are things we need to look into and it’s going to take some time…,” the Sun Sentinel reported.
According to its Facebook page, the Masjid Al Iman of Fort Lauderdale was founded in the 1970s.
“Masjid al Iman is a unique Masjid that serves the Muslim Community in South Florida for decades. The age of the Masjid goes back to the late seventies where the Masjid at that time used to be known as ‘Masjid Mohammad.'”
This masjid is one where people will “meet Muslims from all over the globe and from all different races, ages, colors, nationalities…” according to its Facebook page.
The Miami Herald reported that a spokesman for the Florida chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations the suspect, who has not been named by authorities, is “not involved with the community.”