The man accused of killing a Good Samaritan in downtown Hamilton has been acquitted by a jury.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of the Attorney General confirmed to Global News that a jury found Dale Burningsky King “not guilty” on Wednesday – nearly two years after 19-year-old Yosif Al-Hasnawi was shot outside the al-Moustafa Islamic Centre on Main Street East near Sanford Avenue.
King was charged with second-degree murder in the case.
Al-Hasnawi – a Brock University student and aspiring doctor – had come to the aid of an older man who had been confronted by two other men.
Al-Hasnawi was shot and killed during the intervention outside the Islamic centre, according to Hamilton police.
An SIU investigation into an officer who responded to the incident – which interviewed 63 civilian witnesses – revealed the officer told dispatch that a ‘BB gun’ was possibly involved and that the male had ‘minor injuries, superficial to abdomen’.
The SIU went on to say very few witnesses actually heard a shot, saw the impact on the Al-Hasnawi, or observed his injury. Of those, only one indicated in his statement to the police that he believed that the Al-Hasnawi had actually been shot by a real firearm.
Witnesses also allege the paramedics who responded to the scene accused Al-Hasnawi of exaggerating his injuries.
Those same bystanders say the paramedics took too long to treat Al-Hasnawi and take him to hospital.
In the post-mortem examination on Al-Hasnawi, a forensics pathologist concluded the cause of death was “a penetrating gunshot wound of the abdomen complicated by massive blood loss,” said the SIU.
The trial of two former Hamilton paramedics also charged in connection with the case is set for January.
Christopher Marchant and Steve Snively are charged with failing to provide the necessities of life.
Meanwhile, 21-year-old James Matheson, who was also charged in connection with the shooting, is out on probation after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice charges last year.
King’s jury trial began on Nov. 7 and lasted just under three weeks.
— With files from Ken Mann