ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here

Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Bassam Al Hayek

Guard’s family, killer hope for closure

The family of a security guard killed last summer has spent hours poring over the 700-page police investigation, reviewing crime scene photos and highlighting what they say are discrepancies in witness accounts.

The shooter, Jason Hartell, told The Spokesman-Review that he’s positive he saw the guard, George Al Hayek, holding a gun, but according to the police report, he told detectives it may have been a cell phone.

Meanwhile, there was no Christmas celebration for Al Hayek’s family, who moved to the United States from the Bethlehem area about eight years ago. 

Their Palestinian Christian heritage calls for years of skipped celebrations after a tragic loss, and the loss of their youngest son is tragic beyond words.

Hartell said he thinks of their son every day.

“There’s not a night I don’t see his face. That poor guy. I feel so bad for his family,” Hartell said. “My life’s just been hell.”

Read my full story here.

Past coverage:

Sept. 1: Family seeks answers in security guard's death

Family seeks answers in guard’s death

Eight years ago, Bassam Al Hayek left a little town near Bethlehem to start a new life away from the political and religious crossfire.

He and his wife settled in Spokane, far away from the Middle East violence he saw as an Arab Christian in the Palestinian territories.

“We knew we would be killed sooner or later,” Al Hayek said of living in the midst of fighting between fundamentalist Muslims and Israeli troops, according to a 2008 Spokesman-Review article. “It was just a matter of by whom and when.”

This week, Al Hayek sat in the living room of his northwest Spokane home, examining pictures of his youngest son’s body. His son, George B. Al Hayek, 26, was the private security officer who was shot to death last week during an altercation with a group of people in an alley outside an east Spokane apartment complex. (Al Hayek is pictured right with son Issa. A memorial to George is pictured above.) 

Police found the gunman, Jason M. Hartell, performing CPR on Al Hayek when they arrived after the shooting, which occurred before 11 p.m. Aug. 24 between the Pepsi bottling plant at 4014 E. Sprague Ave. and the Pacific Plaza Apartments, 4023 E. Pacific Ave. Hartell says he fired in self-defense. 

Read my full story here.

Past coverage:

Aug. 26: Witnesses say slain security guard confronted group

Bassam Al Hayek is a celebrated Palestinian artist (he’s pictured at right in 2008).

Here are past stories about him:

May 22, 2005: Carving a new life

Dec. 24, 2005: Spreading his wings

March 20, 2008: Far away from West Bank, part 1

April 10, 2008: Far away from West Bank, part 2

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Sirens & Gavels.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here