Four days ago, the Jerusalem Post reported on an elderly Jewish man murdered by a pro-Palestinian activist in Los Angeles. The Jewish victim has since been named as 69-year-old Paul Kessler and the main suspect as Loay Alnaji; who has reportedly killed before and shared pro-Hamas social media posts.
Kessler had been waving an Israeli flag while countering a pro-Palestinian protest in California. A protester proceeded to hit Kessler on the head with a megaphone, which resulted in his death.
“Upon arrival, responding deputies located Kessler, who was suffering from a head injury. Witness accounts indicated that Kessler was involved in a physical altercation with counter-protestor(s). During the altercation, Kessler fell backward and struck his head on the ground. Kessler was transported to an area hospital for advanced medical treatment. On November 6, 2023, Kessler succumbed to his injuries,” the police recorded in their Death Investigation.
The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.
On Tuesday, Ventura County Sheriff Jim Fryhoff said that a 50-year-old had been identified as a suspect in the homicide and that he had been one of the people to contact authorities after the incident.
The Daily Mail, in an exclusive shared by prominent Jewish groups like StopAntisemitism and the Algeimener, identified the suspect as Loay Alnaji.
No arrests have yet been made known to the public.
Who is Loay Alnaji?
Alnaji teaches computer science at Ventura Community College. Originally born Shannon Morris, Alnaji converted to Islam from Catholicism.
The Daily Mail reported that this was not the first time Alnaji had been suspected of murder. Alnaji was sentenced to death in Dubai for murder, which was later ruled manslaughter after he paid monetary compensation to the family of the victim. He was subsequently released from prison.
StopAntisemitism has shared footage alleging that Alnaji had also shared content in support of the Hamas terrorist group.
UPDATE: we are hearing the Ventura County Sheriff intends to charge Loay Alnaji in Paul Kessler’s death with a hate crime enhancement.Once an arrest is made, StopAntisemitism strongly encourages DA Nasarenko to prosecute Alnaji to the fullest extent of the law. https://t.co/77VaT40tpW
— StopAntisemitism (@StopAntisemites) November 9, 2023
The Ventura County Sherriff’s Office said, in a November 6 statement, that they were continuing investigations into the murder and had not ruled out the possibility of a hate crime.
Despite eyewitness statements, the investigators looking into the case have complained that they only have footage from before and after the fatal blow, with no recorded evidence of the attack, according to ABC News. The source also stated that eyewitnesses had offered conflicting accounts of the altercation.
Jonathan Oswaks, who attended the protest with Kessler, told the LA Times about witnessing the violent assault and his frustration over a lack of arrests.
“They had everything right there,” Oswaks said of the deputies. “The suspect was sitting right there on the curb.”