Karrar Noaman Al Khammasi: Colorado cop Cem Duzel's shooter jailed for 45 years
A Colorado Springs police officer is thanking his supporters after an Iraqi refugee who shot him in the head was sentenced to 45 years in prison.
Karrar Noaman Al Khammasi was found guilty by an El Paso County jury on several counts in the freak 2018 shooting of Colorado Springs Police Officer Cem Duzel, according to the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office. Al Khammasi was convicted of "one count of criminal attempt to commit murder in the first degree, the associated crime of violence counts for this charge, three counts of assault in the first degree, one count of menacing, and one count of prohibited use of a weapon," per a statement by the 4th Judicial District of El Paso and Teller counties.
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Cem Duzel and his father Mumtaz briefly spoke to the press following the sentencing, with the hero cop thanking everyone for their continued support throughout his recovery. His father bluntly told reporters that no one is supposed to survive a gunshot wound to the head like his son. The embattled parent also said he was glad that Al Khammazi was off the streets, but argued that 45 years in prison was just not enough. "(The) only way I can explain it, is a miracle. We've had great doctors along the way. I don't think it would have made out.. without their help," Mumtaz remarked. He revealed that Cem and his fiancee are reportedly planning to tie the knot next summer.
Officer Duzel and Corporal Carter were responding separately to reports of shots fired in the area of Boulder St and Bonfoy in the early hours of August 2, 2018. There were at least three calls from witnesses who reported hearing gunshots or seeing a man tuck a pistol in his waistband, according to police radio traffic obtained by KOAA.
Duzel made contact with Al Khammasi as the latter was walking west along Boulder Street. A shootout ensued, and the officer was shot in the head. Corporal Carter arrived at the scene shortly after and fired his weapon at Al Khammasi in order to disarm him. Carter provided first aid to both until paramedics arrived.
The Colorado Springs community rallied to support Duzel in the aftermath of the shooting as he underwent extensive treatment at UCHealth Memorial Hospital before being transferred to a rehabilitation hospital in Denver. He has since moved out of state to live near his family, the Colorado Springs Police Department shared in a recent update.
Who is Cem Duzel?
Officer Duzel served with the Colorado Springs Police Department within the Sand Creek Division for five years before the fateful shooting occurred. WWE star John Cena visited Duzel and his family in June 2019 at their New York residence, where he moved to complete his recovery.
Later that year, Duzel returned to Colorado Springs to lead the Procession of Heroes at the annual Medal of Valor Luncheon at the Broadmoor. In recognition of his selfless service, the officer was awarded the Colorado Springs Police Department's Medal of Honor and Purple Heart. According to KOAA, more than 800 people were present at the ceremony to show their support for his recovery. The event is said to honor Colorado Springs Police Officers who have displayed extreme courage, bravery, and dedication.
Officers with the Colorado Springs Police Department lined the halls of the UCHealth Memorial Hospital to honor Duzel as he left for rehabilitation.