Hundreds of friends and family gathered on Wednesday to remember Feras Morad, who was killed on May 27 by Long Beach police officers.
Those who assembled are demanding answers to why the unarmed Moorpark College honor student was fatally shot.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous that my brother is gone. I don’t know how this happened,” said Feras’ sister Ghada Morad, 16, who spoke at the memorial. “I don’t know how this could have happened to someone like him. … Even if he did something wrong, he shouldn’t have died.”
A relative told the Los Angeles Times that the 20-year-old Morad, ingested hallucinogenic mushrooms for the first time on the fatal night of May 27. During that evening Morad got into a scuffle with his friends in a second-story apartment and either fell or jumped from a window.
Shortly after the incident a resident called 911 and reported that Morad appeared disoriented and “a little bit violent” and was drenched in blood.
The Times reported that a few minutes after the first officer arrived, Morad was dead.
According to police, Morad had moved “rapidly” toward one of the arriving officers, who tried to use a taser and a spotlight to stop Morad before firing at him with his revolver.
Bob Garner, a witness, claimed in an interview with NBC4 that Morad had his hands up when he moved toward the officer. After Morad didn’t react to multiple taser shots and did not comply when the officer shouted at him to get down, Garner said that the officer fired four shots “rapid fire” into Morad’s chest.
When asked by NBC if Morad was acting aggressive to the officer, Garner said he “was acting very aggressive.” He believes that the officer, who was at the scene solo, made the decision to shoot because he had tried all non lethal alternatives.
“Two tasers and a fall from a second story window did zero, I had no other choice,” Garner surmised was the officers thinking.
The Los Angeles County coroner has not commented on the cause of Morad’s death. Toxicology reports are pending.