LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County prosecutors have charged a man who shot and killed his son with premeditated murder, alleging that he committed the crime because his son was gay.
Shehada Issa, 69, said he shot his son in self-defense after he discovered his wife's dead body in their house.
The district attorney's office said Friday that Issa had allegedly threatened to kill his 29-year-old son, Amir, in the past because he was gay.
"The murder was committed because of the victim's sexual orientation and because of the defendant's perception of that status and the victims' association with a person and a group of that status," prosecutors said in a statement.
Issa was arrested Tuesday after Los Angeles police officers found the younger man's body outside a house in the city's North Hills area. Issa's wife was found stabbed to death inside the house.
Detectives said Issa told officers he found his wife's body in a bathroom.
"He claimed (the son) was armed with a knife, and there was no knife to be found (there). It was a horrible family tragedy," Detective John Doerbecker told the Daily News.
Authorities allege the father used a shotgun in the attack on his son, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Doerbecker told the Daily News that there had been problems between the father and son, including the son reportedly vandalizing the home. He said the couple was in the process of evicting the son.
An investigation into who killed Issa's wife is ongoing.
Issa is being held without bail pending his arraignment on April 11.
He faces life in prison if convicted of the charge.