LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Louisville man who recently was told his driveway violated city zoning codes shot and killed a neighbor and critically injured another at a homeowners association meeting inside a church, police said Friday.
Mahmoud Yousef Hindi, 55, is scheduled to be arraigned Saturday morning in Louisville on charges of murder, assault and seven counts wanton endangerment in the Thursday evening shooting.
What specifically sparked the shooting wasn't clear, but police say they are investigating whether Hindi, a doctor who was educated in Jordan, had a dispute with neighbors in the homeowners association. After neighbors complained, city officials this year deemed that a driveway and fence on Hindi's property violated zoning codes, according to a city document.
In the papers dated May 11, Musa Mahmoud Hindi requested a waiver from the city to keep a driveway that had been constructed without proper permits.
Spring Creek Homeowners Association attorney Mike Kelly told The Associated Press that the organization brought the zoning violation charges against Hindi. He said Hindi wrote him rambling letter in August 2011 that ranted about several neighbors in the high-end community that includes the most expensive private school in Kentucky.
In the letter, the contents of which Kelly confirmed, Hindi cites the Quran, the theory of creationism, the idea that America has gone to Communism and accused neighbors of stealing his "no trespassing signs" in the dispute over the fence. Hindi also wrote that he tried to make peace with the neighbors, but became frustrated.
"It came to the point I was going to shoot any trespassers," Hindi wrote. He wrote that if anyone doubted his intentions, "try me and go ahead make my day."
Kelly said he didn't know much about Hindi just that the association filed the action against him.
Hindi's family members were surprised and puzzled by the shooting and arrest.
"Oh, my god," said his sister-in-law, Magda Hindi, who was unaware of the shooting and arrest.
Mahmoud Hindi's brother, Hasan Hindi of Carmel, Ind., said family members tried to speak with Mahmoud Hindi Thursday night and Friday morning, but officials gave them the court date and didn't allow any contact.
"Even his family does not know what happened," Hindi Hassan told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "What happened is still not clear."
Slain was 73-year-old David Merritt, who was shot once in the head and died at the scene, said Jefferson County Chief Deputy Coroner Jo-Ann Farmer. Farmer said the wounded man, whose identity was not immediately released, was hospitalized Friday at University of Louisville Hospital.
Springdale Community Church is a popular community gathering place, hosting several youth sporting events. Police say seven other people were in the room when Hindi fired the shots.
Hindi wrote in the same letter to the association that he had been "biting my teeth and exercising highest level of self-restraint" in dealing with the neighbors.
"As I always tell ... I will protect the sacred interest of my kids even if it comes to killing and even if I lose my own life in the course of doing so," Hindi wrote. "Thank God the house is paid off. I can pass away in peace with no concerns."
Hindi also referred to a letter from Kelly about the code violation issue as a "stupid terrorist attempt."
"If you ever dare to write my kids and pursue intimidation and harassment, you will be sorry; trust me," Hindi wrote.
The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure lists Hindi as having been admitted to practice in Graves County in western Kentucky in March 2001. Hindi's license expired in February 2008. No reason is listed for the expiration. Hindi, who listed his medical school as University of Jordan, Amman, practiced nuclear medicine.
The Kentucky Secretary of State's office records show Hindi incorporated M. Yoseph Hindi, MD Enterprises in Mayfield in May 2002, but the company was administratively dissolved in November 2003 for failing to file an annual report with the state.