A Colorado jury on Thursday convicted a man convicted of shooting and causing brain damage to a Colorado Springs police officer to 45 years in prison, according to reports.
Officer Cem Duzel was responding to a shooting call in the Knob Hill neighborhood in August 2018 when he encountered Karrar Al Khammasi who shot him in the head, according to FOX 21 in Colorado Springs. Al Khammasi had just been kicked out of an Uber by a driver who said he was harassing her.
Al Khammasi is an Iraqi refugee who was due to be deported in 2016 on a home invasion conviction, but was allowed to stay due to a change in law, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.
He was convicted of attempted first degree murder in June. He was also found guilty of assaulting a police officer, threatening and unlawfully possessing a weapon, according to FOX 21.
“This case really speaks to the dangers law enforcement faces every day,” District Attorney Michael Allen said Thursday. “And it’s not on the streets of New York or Los Angeles; it’s even here in Colorado Springs.”
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Duzel underwent months of rehab after the shooting and was forced to withdraw by force due to his injury. He still hasn’t fully recovered. In 2019, he received the department’s highest distinction: the Medal of Valor.
“This guy is a hero, he stopped a threat that night, he stopped other people from being injured or killed by his courageous contact with an armed suspect,” said Howard Black, 4th District spokesperson. judicial, according to FOX 21.
Duzel and his family thanked everyone for the support during his recovery over the past three years on Thursday. The former officer is now planning a summer wedding with his fiancee.
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“Today was closed,” said his father, Mumtaz Duzel, according to the Gazette. “As a father, was that enough? Probably not, to be honest, but justice was served today.”