A Texas resident shot Adil Dghoughi, an unarmed Moroccan citizen living in the US, in an unprovoked attack early Monday morning.

Dghoughi was fatally shot at approximately 3:30 a.m. in Martindale, Texas after the unidentified shooter confronted the Moroccan man for sitting in a parked car near his residence.

Martindale is a small town with a population of fewer than 1,000 people, and is located about forty miles southwest of Austin.   

According to police reports, the man verbally confronted 31-year old Dghouhghi before eventually gunning him down. Officers responded to the scene within fifteen minutes, and discovered Dghoughi shot. Emergency services transported the Moroccan man to a hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Dghoughi came to the US in 2013, after graduating from the International Institute of Higher Education in Morocco. The financial analyst obtained his Master’s degree from Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island after immigrating to the US.    

The shooting sparked outrage and suspicion amongst Dghoughi’s acquaintances, and raised several questions as to why the unidentified shooter has not been taken into police custody. 

Shortly after the shooting, the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office released an official statement describing the tragic incident. According to the statement, the law enforcement agency stated the “shooter remained cooperative,” and local authorities decided against arresting the shooter for the attack, although a search warrant was executed at the individual’s residence.

Texas is one of several jurisdictions in the US that maintains a “no duty retreat” law within its legal framework. This legal doctrine, more commonly known as “stand your ground” law, provides that an individual is legally permitted to use deadly force when they “reasonably believe” that it is necessary to defend themselves against harm. 

According to Chapter 9 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual has the right to self-defense “to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force.” 

There are certain instances when the use of force is legally authorized:

When an attacker “unlawfully and with force” enters, or is attempting to enter a person’s residence, vehicle, or place of business or employment.
When an attacker “unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove” an individual from his place of residence, vehicle, or place of employment. 
If an attacker commits or was attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.

However, a stipulation of the code emphasizes an individual is only legally authorized to use force when they “did not provoke the person against whom the force was used.”

Investigators of the case remained silent about the situation, and are refusing to provide additional information about the investigation and whether criminal charges were likely to be brought to the perpetrator. 

Morocco World News (MWN) requested a statement from the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer, Kyle McConnell, who responded to the inquiry by saying “All of the information that can be released, has been released.” 

McConnell added that there was still an “ongoing investigation” into the situation as of Thursday.   

MWN also contacted the Moroccan consulate in New York, inquiring about the repatriation of Adil’s remains.

The consulate said that they still did not “receive a request for repatriation,” but will proceed with the process “as soon as the request is received from the funeral home.”

“Because the victim was officially pronounced dead late last night and is an organ donor, it may take a week before his body can be released in order to be transferred to Morocco,” an MWN source said. 

 The victim's friends and family have organized a GoFundMe page to facilitate the repatriation of Dghougi’s body to Morocco, where his family intends to lay him to rest. 

Yasmin Moayeri, the cousin of the Moroccan victim denounced the act, describing the incident as “tragic” and “violent.”

“My cousin Adil moved to Texas, America to look for the ‘ American dream.’”

The victim’s relative said that instead, Adil was “fatally shot… Someone took his life in a senseless act of gun violence. Adil was known to be a caring and loving man whose life was tragically cut short by a horrific act of violence.”

Moayeri emphasized the need to establish justice for Adil and his family.

She also emphasized that Adil wants to donate his organs as an act of support and help as part of his volunteering and assistance principles.

“Adil was a registered donor and his generosity continues even after he’s gone in order to help others. No one has yet to be charged for this horrific murder of an innocent man,” Adil’s cousin denounced.

She also urged people to share her cousin’s story so justice can be served.

All of the Moroccan community in the US are now demanding justice for Adil’s case, calling on all competent authorities to bring the perpetrator to justice.

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