Hate Crime in Iraqi Woman’s Killing? El Cajon Police Say No, Arrest Husband

Police arrested Kassim Irzoqi Alhimidi, 48, on Thursday, but didn’t announce case until Friday.

Public doubts that the March killing of an Iraqi woman in El Cajon was a hate crime may be borne out in the wake of an arrest in the case.

An Iraqi man whose wife was fatally beaten in their home was behind bars Friday on suspicion of murdering her.

El Cajon police arrested Kassim Irzoqi Alhimidi, 48, on Thursday, according to jail records, but did not announce it until Friday afternoon. He is being held on no bail with arraignment set for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at El Cajon Superior Court.

Alhimidi's wife, 32-year-old Shaima Alawadi, was found mortally wounded in their Skyview Street on March 21, near a note that read, in part,  “Go back to your country, you terrorist.”

She died in a hospital three days later.

According to U-T San Diego, investigators have released no details about their case against Alhimidi, “saying the investigation was still sensitive.”

El Cajon Police Chief Jim Redman was quoted as saying: “After months of hard work, we determined this homicide was the result of domestic violence and not a hate crime.”

Redman also said at a news conference: “There were many aspects of this case that needed to be looked into and cultural aspects that needed to be looked into …. “Sometimes homicide investigations just take time. We were diligent in the investigation and it culminated with an arrest.”

In April, a Patch Poll asked: Will El Cajon police ultimately find the Shaima Alawadi slaying a hate crime?

As of Friday afternoon, only 12 percent of Patch respondents said it was a hate crime. Some 62 percent thought it wasn’t a hate crime, and 25 percent said they were unsure.

The El Cajon Police Department issued this statement Friday afternoon:

I’ve called this press conference to announce an arrest in the homicide investigation of Shaima Al-Awadi who was murdered in March of this year. 

I’d like to begin by recognizing some of the organizations that assisted the El Cajon Police Department during this investigation.

  • The San Diego Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab
  • The San Diego Office of the FBI
  • And the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.

The assistance we received from each of these agencies was instrumental in helping us make an arrest in this case.

I wish to acknowledge the diligence and hard work of those Detectives from the El Cajon Police Department who worked continuously on this investigation that ultimately led to this arrest.

It is important to mention that, even though an arrest has been made, this case will now move on to prosecution and is by no means over. That being said, I will refrain from discussing any information I feel may hamper the prosecution of this case.


On March 21, 2012, Shaima Al-Awadi was discovered unconscious in her home at 564 Skyview. She had suffered severe trauma to her head and was transported to the hospital. Investigators processed the scene and began what was to become a lengthy and extremely thorough investigation.

On March 24th, Shaima Al-Awadi was taken off life support and succumbed to her injuries at which point the case became a homicide investigation.

During the initial stages of this investigation, a note was discovered very close to where the victim was found. Based on the contents of the note we could not rule out at that time the possibility that this might have been a hate crime. As I stated during that time, this was just one of several aspects of this case that we were investigating. I also stated that the initial investigation indicated that this was an isolated incident.

Because this family is Muslim, we recognized the mention of a hate crime would certainly cause concerns in our Muslim community.

Muslim Leaders in our community and nationwide shared our concerns.

We were very fortunate to partner with the San Diego Chapter of CAIR; the Council on American-Islamic Relations…and MPAC; the Muslim Public Affairs Council in helping us reach out to our Muslim community members to address their concerns. The guidance we received from CAIR and MPAC was instrumental in establishing an open dialogue with the Muslim community.  We also reached out to the leaders of our two local Mosques who provided a venue for us to address community concerns.

I wish to convey my sincere gratitude to both CAIR and MPAC, as well as our local Muslim leadership for their patience and understanding during this lengthy investigation.

After months of hard work by El Cajon Police Department detectives, we determined that this homicide was the result of domestic violence and not the result of a hate crime.

On Thursday, November 8, El Cajon Police Detectives arrested Kassim Al-Himidi for suspicion of the murder of his wife, Shaima Al-Awadi. Mr. Al-Himidi was booked into San Diego County Jail on charges of 1st Degree Murder.

Our sympathies go out to the victim’s family and friends and I hope that this arrest further eases any concerns within the community.

Again, I wish to thanks all of our partners who helped with this investigation.

I wish to thank the citizens of El Cajon for their patience and their confidence in the Police Department.

—City News Service contributed to this report.

Deena While November 10, 2012 at 10:07 PM
I don't understand how killing a family member restores honor to a family. It's so sad. My prayers go out to the kids. I hope they find love and peace.
John Galt November 11, 2012 at 12:57 AM
I give my best wishes for the children. And for the people who were lied to by this Supposedly being a hate crime which is all of us, I wish a speedy needle for the bastard.
Jerome from Layton November 11, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Why do I get the feeling this fine upstanding member of the Islamic community won't be convicted of anything? Reasons: 1. Kalifornia. 2. CAIR. 3. Political Correctness (see #1.) 4. Was a weapon in violation of SB-22 involved? (California's weapon control act of 1999 which even covers a device called a slung.) Now, if it is proven that it was NOT an "honor" killing, then I stand corrected and he will be in line for an extended stay in the Gray Bar Arms.
Doug Curlee November 11, 2012 at 03:25 PM
jerome.. you're wrong.. he'll be tried and, if the evidence is there, he'll be convicted..political correctness won't play into this one at all..my only question is whether the d.a. will go for the death penalty..i hope she does..that way, if the jury but doesn't viote for death, he'll automatically get LWOP..life without parole..either way, he'll never walk free again.. doug
Things I Learned November 11, 2012 at 04:19 PM
So when is the daughter being charged with filing a false police report?
David B Secor November 11, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Thanks, El Cajon Resident, for the most important comment made. Thanks, Doug, for attempting (again) to inject reality into the discussion. Thanks, Bridget, for being more than generous to the "I'mWhiteYou'reWrong" cabal that dominates comments here. Patch editors must also be thankful for you, for without writers like you, "Patch Comments" make the right wing hysterics of the U-T look like the Daily Worker. It's pitiful, yet typical, to see IWYW members race each other to the rooftop, start flapping and crowing about which one had been the first to guess this was not a hate crime. In fact, there was only one piece of evidence even suggesting the POSSIBILITY it might be a hate crime - the note. NONE of the other evidence or the circumstances surrounding the crime would remotely suggest a hate crime. The media (whose only function is to attract viewers, listeners, readers to their commercials and ads) might not have covered this case at all, or only in passing - they have to leave 5 minutes for that story about the bear in the tree - were it not for the note. Hate crimes don't typically have female victims. They do not typically take place in a the victim's home, with no sign of a struggle. There had been no "hate" attacks of this magnitude here. Murderers often leave phony notes trying to mislead investigators Law enforcement didn't gin up the note. Media saw a twig smoldering, threw gasoline on it, and then spent a week covering the BIG FIRE!
Komfort November 11, 2012 at 06:28 PM
It is racist to assume I am white, David. Your intolerance is why you lost.
Things I Learned November 11, 2012 at 06:29 PM
We may draw our own conclusions from the fact that Dave Secor is white and everyone else is wrong.
Things I Learned November 11, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Komfort 10:28 am Things I Learned 10:29 am
David B Secor November 12, 2012 at 01:44 AM
You're both white.
Things I Learned November 12, 2012 at 01:50 AM
I'm just passing.
Komfort November 12, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Obama is white.
Things I Learned November 12, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Many Muslims are white.
David B Secor November 12, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Stop KKKomfort, you only further embarrass yourself with statements like that. TIL - Really?
Komfort November 12, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Why do you hate white Muslims, Dave?
Things I Learned November 12, 2012 at 03:56 AM
"Muslim Americans are racially diverse. No single racial or ethnic group makes up more than 30% of the total. Overall, 30% describe themselves as white, 23% as black, 21% as Asian, 6% as Hispanic and 19% as other or mixed race. Racial breakdowns vary considerably among foreign-born Muslims from different regions. More than eight-in-ten U.S. Muslims from the Middle East and North Africa region describe themselves as either white (60%) or other/mixed race (22%). By contrast, 91% of Pakistanis and 69% of those from other South Asian nations describe their race as Asian." http://www.people-press.org/2011/08/30/section-1-a-demographic-portrait-of-muslim-americans/
Jay Berman November 12, 2012 at 05:47 PM
They come, with their 7th century mentality and customs ....
Char November 12, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Send him back to his country....revoke his visa! This is American, you want to follow your cultural beliefs and do this kind of thing that WE IN AMERICAN don't accept, then go back to were you came from. I believe the real reason immigrants came to this country many, many moons ago, was for a better life. The reasoning behind immigrants coming here now are not to be free and obtain a better life. It's to suck the life out of American TAX-PAYING citizens, play stupid because they don't even know AMERICAN ENGLISH. Send the creep back to his country!
sheeple herder November 12, 2012 at 05:58 PM
David, If you spent the time, energy, and passion you do on the patch, to your election, you may have won. However, people got to see your insight and decided to run the other way.
Deena While November 12, 2012 at 06:19 PM
If you came to this country to 'escape' bad things...then don't bring those bad things with you.
Doug Curlee November 12, 2012 at 06:30 PM
no, liz..we don't send him back to his country.. we charge him with murder, take him to trial, and, if we convict him, we send him off to either death row, or lock him up for the rest of his natural life..witjh no chance of parole, ever.. he committed murder, if he did, right here in the u.s... he's subject to u.s. and california law.. we need to enforce that law.. if any muslim apologists try to protest what happens to him, simply ignore them.. it's cases like this that make me happy california voters decided to KEEP the death penalty.. now, what we need to do is reform the death penalty system so it actually works..there is no excuse for people living out an endless string of appeals behind bars for 35 years..anyone given the death penalty should be given ONE chace to bring ALL the appeals to court at one time..haved them ALL dealt with..and if they are denied, execution should be carried out no MORE than one year after conviction.. doug
David B Secor November 12, 2012 at 06:31 PM
TIL - Read my post. Your (mental) breakdown of Muslim race/color diversity (like 90% of your comments) is irrelevant to the topic of the article and non-responsive to my specific comment. NOWHERE did I say Islam or Muslims is/are a race. Yet both TIL & K both do the FoxNews Shuffle and try to make the topic race. If you two won't read my comment, read your own - BOTH are about RACE. Obvious racists like K don't distinguish between people of a different faith and people of a different color because she hates both people of color and Muslims of any skin tone. And for other IWYW members like K, it's totally disingenuous attempt to hide behind statements like "I have a Muslim associate that's "not a problem," or their are a few people of color that are "O.K.," or Alan West and Herman Cain are "wonderful black people and I'd vote for them" as signs of your humanity, equanimity, or lack of prejudice. Only other haters like yourself buy that. To those who are not haters by nature, the "there are a few 'good ones'" argument is a poor veil of your true feelings. They are shown in this particular case buy your "our new Muslim overlords" and "sharia law community" references, both of which are demonstrably untrue and intentionally inflammatory. This is America. You are free to hate anyone. Just say it! That will save you all the time you spend trying to disguise your contempt with irrelevant, non-dispositive, nonsensical argument.
Things I Learned November 12, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Sorry about the outcome of your RACE Dave.
Things I Learned November 12, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Doug Curlee 10:30 am David B Secor 10:31 am
David B Secor November 12, 2012 at 06:43 PM
TIL - Make that 91% of your comments. And if you are inferring a position from Doug's comment, make that 92%.
Things I Learned November 12, 2012 at 07:03 PM
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Komfort April 23, 2013 at 05:04 PM
...failure to recognize political Islam as a driver of jihadist terrorism is partly to blame for the FBI not identifying one of the Boston Marathon bombers in 2011 as a security risk... The FBI revealed last week that it was warned by a foreign government in 2011 that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed Friday, was tied to “radical Islam” but the FBI was unable to confirm the links. “The fact is religion has been expunged from counterterrorism training,” said Sebastian Gorka, a counterterrorism specialist with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “The FBI can’t talk about Islam and they can’t talk about jihad.” Added Patrick S. Poole, another counterterrorism specialist, about FBI policies on Islam: “I have zero doubt it affected their investigation of Tsarnaev.” A U.S. official said FBI policies of playing down Islamic links to terrorism resulted in the FBI not identifying Tsarnaev, 26, or his brother, Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19, who was charged with last week’s bombing, as Islamist terrorists. Instead, the FBI is limiting its description of the two men as ethnic Chechens who became “radicalized” prior to the April 15 bombing of the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed and more than 200 injured in the attack using two homemade bombs placed in pressure cookers and remotely detonated. http://weaselzippers.us/2013/04/23/official-fbis-decision-to-scrub-islam-from-counterterrorism-documents-hampered-probe-into-boston-terrorists/


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