Man accused of shooting Colorado Springs officer is Iraqi refugee who reportedly faced deportation

Posted at 4:47 PM, Aug 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-06 19:43:04-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The man accused of shooting Colorado Springs Police Officer Cem Duzel last week is a refugee from Iraq who has been in the United States since 2012, racking up a host of charges during that time.

A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official told Denver7 Monday that Karrar Noaman Al Khammasi, 31, came from Iraq in December 2012 after receiving a RE-1 refugee status that May. The official only agreed to speak on the condition they not be named.

The Associated Press additionally reported Monday that Khammasi was set to be deported before a federal court ruling, though the DHS official did not confirm those details to Denver7. A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson directed Denver7’s questions to DHS.

The AP reported, also citing an unnamed DHS official, that Al Khammasi had been set to be deported in June 2016 before a federal appeals court ruled that a portion of immigration law was overly vague. The AP reported that the deportation proceedings ended in October 2016.

The official did say that after arriving in Chicago on a flight from Turkey in December 2012 that he had been charged with various crimes including extortion, assault, contempt of court and felony weapons offenses.

Colorado court records show he has a criminal history in both El Paso and Teller counties, having previously served prison and jail time for trespassing and assault convictions.

He now also faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, possession of a weapon by a previous offender and felony menacing in connection with the Aug. 2 shooting of Duzel. Khammasi is being held without bond.

Meanwhile, Duzel was in critical condition as of Monday but was stable, Colorado Springs police said in a Facebook post.

“The family would like to express their sincere thanks for all that has been done, from doctors and staff, to members of the community,” the department wrote in the post. “We are not in this alone. We will keep you updated as best we can.”

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.