Emotions ran high outside the courtroom Friday morning after preliminary examinations in the alleged July 13 basketball court murder outside Riverside Academy West.
After hearing a witness’ play-by-play testimony of the incident, dozens of the victim’s family members reiterated their disbelief and anger during a brief recess in the 19thDistrict Court lobby.
The victim-23-year-old Hassan Zeidan-suffered three gunshot wounds to the back and one to the head, according to the Wayne County Medical Examiner. Fadi Faraj, 34, allegedly shot Zeidan four times following a scuffle during a pick-up basketball game.
Abe Beydoun, Zeidan’s cousin, said sitting through the court proceeding was emotionally taxing.
“We’re trying to support each other,” Beydoun said of his extended family. “There’s a lot of anger. It just doesn’t make sense.”
Beydoun, along with many of Zeidan’s family members, hopes Faraj receives the maximum punishment possible. The suspect is charged with first-degree murder and felony firearm possession.
“If we had the death penalty, I feel he would deserve it,” Beydoun said. “My family suffered an extreme loss.”
Many of the more than 30 family members in attendance wore matching “Rest In Paradise” T-shirts Friday. And all of them–including cousin Hanady Beydoun–want a sense of closure.
“Our family just wants justice to be served–that’s all we’re concerned about,” she said. “(Faraj) has affected the whole community.”
Indeed, word traveled so fast after the July 13 incident that much of the Dearborn Arab American community knew Zeidan was dead before Dearborn Police had released his name or local media outlets had reported the crime. A Facebook group to remember the 23-year-old, “R.I.P. Hassan Zeidan,” has garnered nearly 4200 “Likes.”
For family members such as cousin Nada Zreik, the most disturbing aspect of the incident was the ancestry of the alleged perpetrator. Dearborn’s Arab American community is extremely tight-knit, she said, making such an incident even more appalling.
“For this to happen is just shocking,” Zreik said. “People are so close in Dearborn. That’s what makes it hard, an Arab killed an Arab.”