Saudi blogosphere sharply divided over young killer’s fate
Manama: A Saudi elementary school student has shot dead an Ethiopian man reportedly while trying to protect his older brother.
The death report triggered a heated debate on social networks and netizens were sharply divided over how the authorities should act with the child, believed to be less than 12 years old.
Details in the killing case indicate that three Ethiopians have assaulted the killer’s brother, a student in the intermediate school in the Aseer area, in the southwest of Saudi Arabia.
The brother asked his siblings to assist him in confronting the assailants, and the elementary schoolboy brought a gun and fired at one of the men, killing him, local news site Sabq reported on Sunday.
The victim was transported to a local hospital and the child was referred by the police to a social home in Aseer.
A spokesperson for the police in Aseer confirmed the tragedy.
“We received a call from the local hospital on Friday at around 6pm, informing us about a dead man killed by a gun,” Abdullah Bin Dhafran, said. “The police went to the hospital and then to the crime scene before detaining the suspect. All required procedures have been followed,” he added.
The student’s school requested the police to provide security in the perimeter of the building after one of the Ethiopian men approached the neighbours and said he would take revenge for the killing of his brother. The police arrested the man for uttering the threats.
Several social media users aid that the child should be released and allowed to go home.
Moody called for the immediate release of the young boy.
“We demand that the student be released and we demand that action be taken against the offenders,” he said.
Ahmad said that the boy “obviously acted in pure self-defence.”
A blogger writing under the moniker of Teacher in Dammam, referring to the main city in the Eastern Province, said that the student was defending his brother.
“It is so good of the boy to know how to shoot,” she said. “The men were wrong in assaulting the young students, so they got what they deserved.”
Emi said that the student be praised.
“He should be honoured for what he did, not put through the legal system,” she said. “If there is a problem dealing with criminals and infiltrators across the borders, we should be at least allowed to handle the issue ourselves,” she said.
However, several netizens said they were shocked by the dramatic shooting.
“This is utter nonsense,” a blogger wrote. “Why should a child be allowed to use a gun? He has not even started to grow moustache and yet he is handling a gun and fatally shooting a man. He does not even realise what he is doing. We are shocked by those who claim he behaved like a real man! Guns must never be associated with virility or manhood.”
Al Hadhari insisted that murder is a heinous crime.
“A fight should never degenerate into a shoot-out and the fall of victims,” he said.
Another blogger said the whole incident should remain within the legal framework, away from any form of clatter.
“There are laws, rules and regulations and they should be respected,” he said. “A child should never carry or have access to firearms. People cannot shoot anyone just because they have a different view over any issue. They should contact the police, not shoot at other people. Tomorrow, this boy will shoot you if he does not like the way you behave. The sense of the sanctity of life is unfortunately dying in some mindsets,” he said.