Video: ‘I happened to beat them to it,’ Hamad testifies, claiming self-defense

Nasser Hamad, who is on trial for the murder of two people in Howland, said he stopped shooting when "the threat seemed gone"

nasser hamad howland murder


WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The defendant in a high-profile Trumbull County murder case, Nasser Hamad, took the stand Friday, saying the shooting at his Howland home in February was all in self-defense.

Hamad fired at a group of five people who showed up in a van following a fist fight in the front yard of his Route 46 home on February 25, 2017.

He said he shot at the boys sitting in the backseat of the van because he felt threatened and believed they had a gun.

Video: Hamad says he’s ‘still convinced’ victims had guns

Hamad described seeing one of them, John Shively, run out of the vehicle. He said he thought about shooting him.

“I didn’t know what he had,” Hamad said. “Something told me not to [shoot him] because I knew there was another person. I still had a lot of stuff going on in my mind.”

He testified that he did end up firing one shot at Shively later on because he thought Shively was going to shoot him from behind.

Some witnesses testified that they saw the van with its taillights on, backing out, before Hamad opened fire. Hamad said the van didn’t move until after he started shooting.

During cross-examination, Assistant Trumbull County Prosecutor Chris Becker questioned Hamad on the threat Hamad said he felt that day.

Becker: “Did anyone ever shoot you?”

Hamad: “No. I mean, I’m here.”

Becker: “Did anyone ever shoot at you?”

Hamad: “I don’t know. Felt like I was gonna get shot, so like I tell you.”

Hamad said he stopped shooting when “the threat seemed gone from the van.”

Becker questioned if Hamad felt he achieved his goal that day of “ending” a feud that had been going on long before the shooting. Hamad corrected him, saying his goal was to keep himself and his girlfriend, Tracy Hendrickson, alive.

The shooting killed Joshua Williams and Joshua Haber and injured three others, including Tracy’s son, Bryce Hendrickson.

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