'My heart is broken': Canadians react to the death of 'Good Samaritan' Yosif Al-Hasnawi

Meanwhile, the investigation continues into paramedics, and police say they're looking at their own conduct.

Meanwhile, the investigation continues into paramedics, and police say they're looking at their own conduct

Yosif Al-Hasnawi, 19, was shot and killed in Hamilton on Dec. 2, 2017. (Al-Mostafa Islamic Centre)

It's been three days since the shooting death of Yosif Al-Hasnawi, and Canadians continue to take to social media to express their shock and disbelief.

The 19-year-old "Good Samaritan" was shot near a lower-city mosque while intervening as an older man was "accosted" by two other people. 

"My heart is broken," said one Twitter user.

"Yosif Al-Hasnawi is a hero," said another. "He refused to look away when someone was in trouble. Such bravery."

"Can't get this story out of my head," said another, linking to a CBC News article about the investigation into the actions of paramedics.

Meanwhile, Hamilton police says it's keeping an eye out for any misconduct on its part around the shooting death of Yosif Al-Hasnawi Saturday night. The province is already investigating Hamilton's paramedic service.

Witness accounts say paramedics believed Al-Hasnawi had been shot with a pellet gun, and that he was acting, as Al-Hasnawi told them he couldn't breathe.

"The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care takes public complaints regarding ambulance services very seriously and has opened an investigation of this incident," spokesperson David Jensen said in an email Tuesday.

Hamilton Paramedic Service is also looking into it.

Hamilton Police Service also issued a statement Tuesday promising to "take the appropriate steps" if it uncovers officer misconduct.

Mourners gather around the remains of Yosif Al-Hasnawi. (Mark Bochsler/CBC)

"We hold our members to the highest standards of professionalism and quality service," it said.

"In the event that any police misconduct is identified during the investigation, the Hamilton Police Service will take the appropriate steps to have the matter reviewed."

The teen was participating in a religious celebration at the Al-Mostafa Islamic Centre at 545 Main St. E. He'd just recited from the Qur'an when he stepped outside with his younger brother.

There, he spotted two people "accosting" an older man, police say. Al-Hasnawi intervened, and the pair crossed Main Street East. The confrontation moved to Sanford Street South, where Al-Hasnawi was shot.

Police are looking for Dale Burningsky King in connection with the shooting death of Yosif Al-Hasnawi. (Hamilton Police Service)

"He was being that Good Samaritan," said Det. Sgt. Steve Bereziuk.

Witnesses say he was in pain on the sidewalk for several minutes before he was taken to St. Joseph's hospital, where he died around 10 p.m.

Police have a warrant for the shooting suspect, identified as Dale Burningsky King, 19, of Hamilton. Police say he's wanted for second-degree murder.

Another Hamilton man, 20-year-old James Anthony Robert Matheson, is charged with accessory after the fact to murder.

Police are also still looking for the older man being harassed when Al-Hasnawi intervened. Police say anyone with information should contact Bereziuk. 


Samantha Craggs is journalist based in Windsor, Ont. She is executive producer of CBC Windsor and previously worked as a reporter and producer in Hamilton, specializing in politics and city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca