An Arlington, Virginia smoke shop owner defended a jailed employee who could face decades in prison for firing his weapon at a group of masked burglars, wounding one.
Hamzeh Abusharia, 33, was sleeping in a back room of Arlington Smoke Shop when he was awakened early Sunday morning by three masked juvenile suspects who had broken in to “steal cash and merchandise,” WJLA reported. Abusharia grabbed a gun and, according to police: “opened the door to the sales floor and discharged the weapon, striking one juvenile subject. The employee retreated to the back room but reentered the sales floor and discharged his weapon again as the subjects were attempting to flee the business.”
Abushariah reportedly faces charges of malicious wounding, violation of a protective order and reckless handling of a firearm.
Jowan Zuber, the store’s owner, spoke out on Tuesday night’s edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“They had broken into the store, three men with masks on,” said Zuber, describing the incident to Fox News host Tucker Carlson. “The neighbor up the stairs said when they broke the window it sounded like a car smashing into the store. Hamzeh, the employee, he said it sounded like a shotgun, and when he woke up he said he just reached for the pistol …”
“When police came, we thought we were in the right,” Zuber added, accusing police of “treating us like we’re the ones who caused the harm.”
“It’s very sad for America today as American citizens practice their Second Amendment to protect the store and their lives,” said Zuber. “Do you know what the police officers told him? ‘Why didn’t you run out the back door?'”
“This is very sad,” he continued. “I was born in Arlington, I pay taxes. The gun is registered. Everything is perfect. But I can’t believe as American citizens, we are being treated like this. And this gets the criminals out there [thinking that] ‘Hey, we can go rob stuff, kill people, hurt people and guess what, people got to run out the back door.’ This is mind-boggling.” (RELATED: ‘I’m Sorry To Inflict That Upon You’: Tucker Apologizes To Audience After ‘Last Gun Control Debate’ With Former Clinton Pollster)
“I can’t remember a story that has made me as mad as this one and I appreciate you so clearly describing what happened,” Carlson said. “I wish I knew that cop’s name because he should be ashamed of what he said.”
Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti defended the charges in a statement to ABC7:
“I cannot ethically discuss an ongoing investigation because doing so would not only risk compromising our work but also unfairly impede on the rights of the accused and interfere with the investigation,” the statement read. “Suffice it to say, there is evidence we are not at liberty to share that support the charges, the decision was not made lightly, and we ask the public not to rush to judgment on what is very much a live investigation.”