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Texas father of six who was ‘minding his own business’ gunned down in front of home on Valentine’s Day in ‘heinous crime’

Suspects in Ali Ismail murder (Arlington Police).jpeg

Suspects in Ali Ismail murder (Arlington Police).jpeg

Law enforcement officials in Texas are asking for the public’s assistance after a 36-year-old father of six was gunned down by suspected burglars just moments after pulling into his own driveway on Valentine’s Day.

Officers responded to a 911 call at approximately 5:14 a.m. on Feb. 14 regarding a suspected shooting at a home located in the 1400 block of Prentice Street, according to the Arlington Police Department.

Upon arriving at the scene, police said, they found a 36-year-old male victim, later identified as Ali Ismail, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. He was “lying unresponsive in an SUV outside the home” and was later pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

Investigators say detectives believe that prior to the fatal shooting, two male suspects were in Ismail’s neighborhood attempting to break into parked cars on the block. Ismail arrived home from work just as the suspects were in the area in front of his house.

“It appears one of the suspects was in the victim’s driveway at the time, trying to hide. As the victim pulled into his driveway, the suspect displayed a gun and fired multiple shots at the victim, striking him,” police said on the incident. “Both suspects then ran from the neighborhood heading east along Prentice Street.”

Surveillance footage captured by a security camera was obtained by investigators. Police said the footage shows the two suspects “pulling on the door handles of multiple vehicles” in the area in “an apparent attempt to burglarize them.”

“The victim was minding his own business, came home and someone started firing rounds at him. We don’t know motive to this heinous crime,” said Arlington Police Department Sgt. Courtney White during a press briefing. “No words were exchanged between the victim and shooter. I do not know if the victim was targeted but witnesses did see suspects pulling on car door handles.”

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Detectives also recovered surveillance footage from around 2:30 a.m. — just over two hours before Ismail was shot — which appeared to show an adult male attempting to break into several parked vehicles in a nearby neighborhood. Authorities said they cannot “definitively say” whether the person depicted in the earlier footage is one of the shooting suspects, but said that he is a person of interest.

A person of interest in Ari Ismail's murder (Arlington Police Dept.)

A person of interest in Ari Ismail’s death (Arlington Police Dept.)

Authorities are urging anyone who recognizes any of the individuals depicted in the surveillance footage to contact Det. Hall at (817) 459-5325. Tipsters who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of Tarrant County at (817) 469-8477.

Authorities have also asked homeowners who live in the area to check any video surveillance systems they may have for possible footage of anything unusual between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. on the morning of Feb. 14.

In another update, police announced a reward for the capture and prosecution of those responsible for Ismail’s death.

“Mr. Ismail was a beloved husband and father of six, with a seventh child on the way,” cops said.

Ali Ismail

Ali Ismail (image via Arlington Police Department)

Watch the footage released by investigators, below:

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.