Police wonder if 'accosted' man in Al-Hasnawi homicide doesn't want to be found

Hamilton Police Service sent out a second call in two weeks for the identity of the older man who they say Yosif Al-Hasnawi was trying to help before he was shot.

Police issue third call for public's help identifying the man Al Hasnawi was trying to help

Police first released this photo on Dec. 20 of the older man who they say Al-Hasnawi was trying to help before he was shot. They are still searching for him. (Hamilton Police Service)

For the second time in two weeks, Hamilton Police Service has issued a call for the public's help in identifying the "older" man they say Yosif Al-Hasnawi was trying to help before he was shot. 

It's the service's third call for public assistance, but despite the persistent efforts to identify and find the man, investigators say the man is "not critical" to the case.

"It's an open-end portion of the case," said Det. Sgt. Steve Bereziuk. "So in terms of any leads or any portions of the case that have not been formally cleared or solved, we need to look into (them)."

The man may be actively avoiding police, said Bereziuk, or won't be able to give much more information.

"Regardless if that's the case, I still want to hear that from him."

While the older man's recollection of events is not crucial to the prosecution of two people who were charged for Al-Hasnawi's death, Bereziuk said he wants to find out what happened to "tie off" the case.

Dale Burningsky King, a 19-year-old Hamilton man, is charged with second degree murder. He first appeared in court on Dec. 8. Another man has been charged with being an accessory after the fact.

Police say Al-Hasnawi was leaving the Al-Mostafa Islamic Centre on Dec. 2 when he saw the older man being accosted by two men. The older man was last seen around Main Street East and Sanford Avenue.

Bereziuk said the public has come forward with "strong tips," but the man has yet to be identified and located.

Police say anyone with information is to contact Det. Doug Jonovich at 905-546-4863.