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Published: Wednesday, 5/30/2001

Toledo man accused in shooting death of cousin surrenders

BY CHRISTINA HALL
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A central-city man turned himself in to authorities yesterday in the shooting death of his 21-year-old cousin from Michigan.

Ibraheem Abdo Ali, 20, of 245 North Summit St., Apt. 1002, surrendered at the Safety Building downtown about 9:30 a.m. on a warrant for involuntary manslaughter. He was being held in the Lucas County jail last night pending arraignment today in Toledo Municipal Court. He is under a suicide watch at the jail.

Mr. Ali is charged in the death of Arafat Ali-Saleh Nagi, of Port Huron. Mr. Nagi was shot once in the chest about 11:44 p.m. Saturday and died about 45 minutes later at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, police said.

Mr. Nagi died from a single gunshot wound in the chest, according to an autopsy performed at the Lucas County coroner's office. A final ruling is awaiting toxicology results.

Mr. Ali allegedly was showing a handgun that he thought was unloaded. The handgun discharged, and the bullet struck Mr. Nagi, Sgt. Bob Maxwell said.

Police are looking for the handgun and investigating who owns it. They declined to release the type and caliber of the weapon.

Charles Sallah, a Toledo attorney who represents Mr. Ali and went to the Safety Building with him yesterday, said the gun does not belong to his client.

He said the weapon was left in Mr. Ali's apartment.

Mr. Ali, Mr. Nagi, and three cousins were standing and eating in the kitchen area when the shooting occurred in Mr. Ali's 10th floor dwelling at the Riverfront Apartments. Mr. Sallah said the gun accidentally fired.

After Mr. Nagi was shot, Mr. Ali dialed 911 from a cell phone, authorities said.

“It's just a terrible tragedy. The families are devastated. [Mr. Ali's] devastated,” Mr. Sallah said.

Two of Mr. Nagi's cousins in Michigan declined comment.

Mr. Ali learned later on Sunday that a warrant had been issued for his arrest. He wasn't hiding during the last few days but was waiting for his attorney before turning himself into, Mr. Sallah said. Investigators had interviewed Mr. Ali earlier on Sunday but did not arrest him.

“At the time we talked to him, he was nothing more than a witness. When we did other interviews, he became the suspect,” Lt. Rick Reed said.

Mr. Ali told police he lived at the apartments for three to four months. Both of the men, whose families are from Yemen, were born in the United States.

Mr. Ali had worked for his father's cab company, Yellow Cab Co., police said. Mr. Sallah said Mr. Ali did not have a job when the shooting occurred.

Police said Mr. Ali has “nothing of consequence” regarding past criminal charges.

If convicted of the involuntary manslaughter charge, Mr. Ali could be sentenced to up to five years in prison and fined up to $15,000.



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