Prosecutor: Fight over hummus led to Deerfield Township shootout, 10-count indictment

Mohammed Abdou Laghaoui faces 68 years
Posted at 9:58 AM, Jul 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-05 21:04:10-04

LEBANON, Ohio -- An argument over hummus and fasting for Ramadan led to a shootout that left a deputy wounded last month, officials said Tuesday.

The man accused of shooting his own father and Warren County Deputy Katie Barnes with an AK-47 was indicted Tuesday on 10 counts. If convicted on all, 19-year Mohammed Abdou Laghaoui could face up to 68 years in prison, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said. 

Deputies said Laghaoui shot his father in the hand and opened fire on Barnes when she responded to a 911 call from the family's apartment in Deerfield Township on June 9. One of the shots Laghaoui fired that night entered a child's bedroom in a neighboring apartment, according to new evidence Fornshell announced Tuesday.

RELATED: Deputy's assailant shot into son's bedroom, neighbor says

Barnes was shot the second time she responded to the Orchards of Landen apartment complex that night. Earlier in the evening, Laghaoui's brother called 911 and reported that Laghaoui threatened to kill him and his father. Laghaoui punched a family member in the face and left their apartment in a rage, deputies said.

Deputy Katie Barnes

According to court documents, neither Laghaoui's family nor Barnes knew Laghaoui was armed with a semi-automatic weapon until the moment he opened fire: first on his father through the closed apartment door, then on a neighbor who witnessed the altercation — and then on Barnes.

Laghaoui was initially charged with two counts of felonious assault, one count of attempted aggravated murder and one count of attempted murder. Now, as part of the 10-count indictment, Laghaoui also faces charges of tampering with evidence for tossing the gun police said he used in the shooting.

Deputies are still looking for the weapon and warn anyone who finds it to call 911 right away.

"We have the evidence that these shell casings all came from the same firearm, even though we don't have that firearm to present to the jury," Fornshell said Tuesday. "I think the bigger issue is the public safety issue it presents, being out there and being loaded."

Despite what sounded like incoherent speech at Laghaoui's bond hearing, Fornshell thinks Laghaoui will be found fit to stand trial. The fact that he got rid of the gun bears that out, according to Fornshell.

"At this point in time we don't have any evidence that would suggest that Mr. Laghaoui didn't know right from wrong," he said. 

Laghaoui is set to be arraigned in Warren County at 10:30 Wednesday morning.

Barnes had never used her gun in the line of duty before that night. She fired four shots at Laghaoui and radioed for help as she retreated to cover. Amid the sound of gunshots in the complex and voices on her radio, she did not notice that she had already been hit by one of Laghaoui’s rounds.

The bullet struck her gun belt and grazed her lower abdomen, tearing away at the skin. If the belt had not been in the way of the bullet, the situation could have been dire.

LISTEN: 911 calls from Deerfield Township shooting

“There is a lot of luck that went into this,” Warren County Sheriff Larry Sims said. “Most of us have an understanding of what would happen if it hit her head-on.”