Khalid Jabara, 37, was fatally shot Friday evening outside his Tulsa home, moments after calling police to express concern that the neighbor, who had referred to his family as “dirty Lebanese,” had a firearm and was a continuing threat.
Stanley Vernon Majors, 61, was arrested by police after what the Washington Post described in today’s editions as “a bizarre standoff involving bare feet and a six-pack of beer.”
Majors, also known as Vernon Schmauss, is expected to be formally charged with first-degree murder when he is released from a hospital for minor injuries.
Word of the racially-motivated homicide is a trending topic on Twitter, #Justice4Khalid.
“This certainly is a tragedy … but this is not a whodunit,” Tulsa Police Sgt. Dave Walker told Post, citing an eyewitness account and a history of racially-based conflicts between the suspect and his Lebanese neighbors.
Majors was released from jail in May and was awaiting trial on charges that he used a vehicle to assault Haifa Jabara, 65, last September. She sustained a broken shoulder, collapsed lung, broken ankle, broken nose, head trauma, and fractured ribs in the vehicular assault, a family spokeswoman said. Haifa Jabara obtained a protective order against Majors in November 2013 after telling a Tulsa County judge that he had harassed her and “is very racist towards foreigners and blacks,” the Tulsa World reported.
In response, Majors obtained his own restraining order against her son, Khalid Jabara, accusing him of harassment, vandalism, trespassing and blackmail.
Majors, convicted in 2012 of assault with a deadly weapon and making “criminal threats” in San Bernardino County, Calif., was arrested in mid-March by Tulsa police, accused of violating the restraining order.
At the time of that arrest, Majors is alleged to have used “multiple racial slurs” and told Haifa Jabara, “F––– you and I want to kill you.”
Veronica Laizure, Oklahoma Civil Rights director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told the Tulsa newspaper that the homicide possibly was motivated by anti-Arab or anti-Muslim bias, though the Washington Post reported that the Jabaras are Christian.
“He repeatedly attacked our ethnicity and perceived religion, making racist comments,” the murder victim’s sister, Victoria Jabara Williams, posted on Facebook. “He often called us ‘dirty Arabs,’ ‘filthy Lebanese,’ ‘Aye-rabs,’ and ‘Mooslems.’ ”
Victoria Jabara Williams asked her Facebook followers to “share this FB post … so you can be outraged, just as we are outraged.”
“Our brother’s death could have been prevented,” the victim’s sister posted. “This man was a known danger. He intentionally tried to kill our mother less than one year ago when he ran her over with his car.”
Victoria Jabara Williams said based on the suspect’s previous racist comments, he should have been charged with a hate crime then [and] should not have been released without monitoring. Yet he was released and put back next door to us, the family he assaulted just months before.”
“This is troubling at any time, but profoundly disturbing given the current climate of our country and the increase nationally in cases of hate crimes,” she wrote.