Yosif Al-Hasnawi’s younger brother returns to witness stand at paramedics’ trial

Hamilton police investigate a crime scene on Main Street East where Yosif Al-Hasnawi was shot on Dec. 2, 2017. Global News

The younger brother of shooting victim Yosif Al-Hasnawi returned to the witness stand Tuesday in the trial of two Hamilton paramedics accused of failing to provide the necessities of life.

Ahmed Al-Hasnawi was cross-examined by defence lawyers on Day 10 of the trial following his testimony on Monday that recalled the night of Dec. 2, 2017, when Dale King shot his brother near a strip mall in Central Hamilton.

On Monday, Al-Hasnawi watched video he had never seen before that showed his frantic dash into a convenience store to ask a clerk to call 911.

Read more: Trauma expert suggests Yosif Al-Hasnawi only had minutes after shooting in central Hamilton

In the footage, the then 13-year-old could be seen banging his hands on a counter telling a store clerk and witness Steve Ryan what had happened.

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The young Al-Hasnawi then recalled running back to his ailing brother laying on a sidewalk on Sanford Avenue south and Main Street East just as police and paramedics arrived on the scene around 9 p.m.

Al-Hasnawi told a court he was with his brother and a friend when Yosif called out two men he saw verbally harassing an older man. In response, the two men crossed to the northside of Main Street East and headed toward Yosif and got “within talking distance.”

Ahmed said he saw King, who had his hair in a ponytail, attempting to hide a “small silvery gun” behind his leg when the three talked before one of the men turned and punched Yosif in the side of the head.

“He just staggered back, and then those guys started running, and my brother started chasing them,” Ahmed Al-Hasnawi told Crown attorney Scott Patterson.

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Al-Hasnawi then told the court that his brother caught up with King and the other man near Sanford and Main Street East and was confronted again.

“When he got close to the bald guy, he sort of tried to grab his hoodie,” Ahmed said. “And that’s when the ponytail guy turned around and shot my brother.”

After alerting Ryan and the store clerk, Al-Hasnawi said police and paramedics arrived at the scene minutes later.

Al-Hasnawi says he recalled a police officer and the two paramedics treating his brother at the scene and told the court that one of the paramedics said, “this guy should win an Oscar and laughed.”

He went on to say the paramedics were “squeezing around the hole” which was his brother’s gun-shot wound and that his hand was “kicked his hand away” when he reached out and grabbed the police officer’s foot while in pain, telling the men he couldn’t breathe.

Read more: Younger brother of Yosif Al-Hasnawi says paramedics didn’t do their job the night he died

Eventually, the paramedics picked him up, “grabbed him by the hoodie” and “threw” him on a nearby stretcher, Ahmed told the court.

During a cross-examination on Tuesday, defence attorney’s pressed Al-Hasnawi using transcripts of interviews he did with police and paramedics in 2017 and 2018.

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Attorney Michael DelGobbo pointed specifically to his recollections for the Crown where he remembered the color of the gun King was carrying and a muzzle flash, something he did not identify for Hamilton police the day after the shooting on Dec. 3, 2017.

Al Hasnawi responded by saying it was a “long night” and that his memory “wasn’t fresh.”

Refering to an interview Ahmed about a month later with Niagara police, which touched on the conduct of police on scene in 2017, DelGobbo suggested it was a police officer that made the “Oscars” comment and that the paramedics had not yet arrived.

Al Hasnawi admitted he did say that to Niagara police but insisted that the paramedics were there when he heard it in 2017.

“When they made the comment about the Oscars, the paramedics were around my brother and I remember one of the paramedics said it,” Al-Hasnawi replied.

Read more: Ambulance dispatchers, former firefighter testify at trial for Hamilton paramedics

Marchant’s attorney Jeff Manishen later followed up and suggested that when he told Niagara police that a “full group” made the Oscars comment that it was only in the context of the police officers on scene, and not the paramedics.

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Al Hasnawi responded, “No, I was thinking in my head the paramedics and the police officers.”

Manishen went on to test Al-Hasnawi’s recollection of events and the interview he did with the paramedics service in May 2018 where he said that his brother asked to be taken to hospital before paramedics arrived.

Al-Hasnawi said that was not accurate and that he now remembers paramedics were on scene when it was said. He agreed with Manishen that it may have been said a more than once that night.

The judge-only trial is expected to last four- to five-weeks with Justice Harrison Arrell expected to hear testimony from numerous witnesses, among them Al-Hasnawi’s friends and family, and bystanders who witnessed the teenager’s final moments.

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