Authorities describe killing of man outside Home Depot on Florin Road as racially motivated
By Kim Minugh (Sac Bee)
Hassan Alawsi’s assailant stalked him in the Home Depot parking lot for about eight minutes – cutting up and down aisles as he followed his victim to his car – before felling him with two gunshots in a racially motivated killing, according to Sacramento County sheriff’s detectives.
Eleven days after the shooting, detectives are awaiting transfer of their suspect, Jeffrey Caylor, from Butte County, where he is being held on charges related to the crimes leading up to and following Alawsi’s March 16 death on Florin Road, according to Sacramento County sheriff’s Sgt. Lisa Bowman. When Caylor, 44, returns to Sacramento County, he will be booked on suspicion of murder, as well as other charges, she said.
Caylor’s girlfriend, Kari Hamilton, also is in custody in Butte County. Detectives allege the 42-year-old woman was in the car with Caylor at the time of the fatal shooting – along with her 12-year-old son – but prosecutors have not determined what charges she will face in connection with Alawsi’s death, according to Bowman and court records.
Detectives allege that Caylor did not know Alawsi, 46. But they believe he had a “severe hatred” of people of Middle Eastern descent, Bowman said, and began following the victim after seeing him with his sister, who was dressed in an “Arabic-style dress” and headscarf. A relative of Caylor later told detectives that hatred stemmed from an ongoing dispute with a former landlord.
Alawsi was pronounced dead at the scene, less than one hour after he and his sister arrived at the store to buy gardening supplies, according to a sheriff’s request for Caylor’s arrest warrant. Alawsi’s sister ducked back into the store to use the restroom as Alawsi headed out to the car. When she tried to go back outside, employees had locked the doors, telling customers there was an emergency outside, according to the warrant affidavit.
She eventually made it outside, only to find deputies and police tape surrounding the area where she and her brother had parked, according to the warrant request. Deputies soon told her that her brother was dead.
Efforts by The Sacramento Bee to reach Alawsi’s family were not successful. State records available online indicate he had been a licensed security guard since 2008, and his permit was to expire this summer. He was a refugee to the United States from Jordan, and a fine arts graduate of the University of Baghdad, according to Alawsi’s Facebook page, which is now being used to spread information about his death.