A judge in Indianapolis sentenced a former soldier to 55 years in prison in a road rage shooting, reports WTHR.
Prosecutors say Dustin Passarelli followed Mustafa Ayoubi off the highway and engaged in a verbal altercation in 2019. Witnesses accused Passarelli of screaming Islamophobic comments before shooting the 32 year old.
According to WRTV, Passarelli admitted following Ayoub to his apartment. Insults included “go back to your country.”
The district attorney’s office declined to file hate crime charges, but said it would prosecute the case vigorously.
Aljazeera cited local news sources that said the autopsy report revealed Ayoubi had been shot eight times including 7 times in the back.
Passarelli claimed self-defense saying Ayoubi either threw an object at his car or collided with it. However, police found no evidence of damage on Passarelli’s vehicle.
His sister Zahra said she feels her brother has received justice.
“A soul so bright, cut short by hate, in the depths of night. He was more than a victim, he was a flame, he stood and put hate to shame,” she wrote on social media.
AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Please take advantage of a $30,000 matching grant challenge. An anonymous donor has offered to match dollar for dollar every tax-deductible donation made to Asian American Media Inc from November 1, 2023 until the end of the year. The money will be used to fund the addition of a new reporter and to produce content for limited English-speaking Asian immigrants. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.