Paul Kessler Death: Suspect Arrested in Killing of Jewish Protester in CA
A man named Loay Alnaji has been charged in connection to the death of a Jewish protester named Paul Kessler, who died from a head injury during a confrontation at an Israel-Hamas protest in Southern California. Alnaji, 50, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and battery causing serious bodily injury. The details of the altercation remain unclear, with conflicting accounts from pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian witnesses.
A Man Charged Over Death of Jewish Protester in California
Loay Alnaji, a 50-year-old from Moorpark, was arrested and charged in connection with the death of Paul Kessler, a Jewish protester who fell and hit his head during dueling rallies over the Israel-Hamas War in Southern California, Ventura County officials said.
Charged with involuntary manslaughter and battery causing serious bodily injury, Alnaji’s bail is set at $1 million. Kessler, 69, died after a head injury during an interaction with a pro-Palestinian protester at pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian demonstrations held in Thousand Oaks.
Details of the interaction between Kessler and Alnaji remain unclear. The sheriff’s office continues to seek information from community members. Those with video recording equipment in the vicinity of the protests are requested to submit evidence.
Alnaji has been placed on administrative leave from his job at a community college according to the Ventura County Community College District. The Los Angeles Times reported that Alnaji works at Moorpark College.
The dueling rallies were among many protests across the United States in response to the October 7 Hamas attacks, which resulted in over 1,200 deaths. More than 11,200 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched its offensive, hitting schools, refugee camps and ambulances.
Incident Details Unclear
The incident occurred during simultaneous protests held by “Freedom for Palestine” and “We are Pro-Israel” groups. The events leading to Kessler’s injury are unclear due to conflicting accounts. A video from the scene shows Kessler injured on the sidewalk, but not the altercation leading to his injuries.
The police interviewed a cooperative suspect at the scene who admitted involvement in the altercation and was among those who called 911. Kessler was conscious and responsive when deputies arrived, receiving medical aid and taken to hospital in critical condition. He was declared dead early the next day. The suspect and Alnaji’s connection is unclear.
An autopsy showed that Kessler’s death was due to blunt force head trauma and determined to be a homicide. The chief medical examiner for Ventura County, Dr. Christopher Young, clarified that this means the death was caused by another person, not necessarily that a crime was committed.
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