A 19-year-old Lincoln man took a shotgun blast to the chest during a fight and died Monday morning.
Naif Al-Kazahy was taken to BryanLGH Medical Center West after an argument between his friends and another group of people escalated into a brawl and climaxed with the shooter pulling the shotgun and shooting Al-Kazahy, said Lincoln Police Chief Jim Peschong.
Al-Kazahy, of 1228 S. 23rd St., died at the hospital.
Authorities arrested a 17-year-old Lincoln man on suspicion of second-degree murder at about 5 p.m. Monday in Bennet, said Lincoln Police Capt. Jim Davidsaver.
On Sunday, responding to a report of the gunshot, Lincoln police converged on 1328 Sumner St. at 11:52 p.m., Peschong said.
Allen Leiser lives across the street.
“I heard a great big noise (and thought), ‘That was no firecracker,’” he told the Journal Star. “When I heard that shot, I was kinda in shock.”
Officers found Al-Kazahy at a house on the next block, where his younger brother, Munif Al-Kazahy, carried him after he was wounded.
Police believe the two brothers and a friend walked by the house and got into an argument with some people who were hanging out on the porch, Peschong said. The two groups fought in the past.
Munif Al-Kazahy, 18, said the men knew his brother, didn’t like him and had disrespected him in the past.
“They wanted to fight my brother. They tried to jump my brother.”
Munif said eight men attacked the trio. One of them dropped Munif to the ground and hit him in the right side of his head with brass knuckles.
Defending his brother, Naif picked up a bat that was nearby and swung it at his brother’s attacker. Munif said his brother hit the attacker with the bat but didn’t know how many times.
That’s when one of the men, who Munif said looked like he was 18 or 19, fired a shotgun from the porch, some 10 to 12 feet from where the brawl was happening, Munif said.
The shot hit Naif in the chest.
“All I heard him say was ‘Munif. Munif,’ and I picked him up and ran,” Munif said. “I picked up my brother, ran two blocks yelling, ‘Someone call the cops!’”
Naif stopped breathing at one point and had no pulse, so Munif said he hit his brother in the chest and slapped him in the face.
“He came back. I just told him to keep breathing, keep breathing.
“There was so much blood, man. There was too much.”
Munif pulled up his shirt Monday afternoon to show the waistband of his underwear, which he said still was stained with blood. Gashes and swollen tissues covered his temple and the right side of his head.
Davidsaver declined to release any further details about the arrest.
Officers guarded the crime scene Monday night, and crime scene technicians probably will continue processing the scene Tuesday, Davidsaver said.
After the shooting, police asked for a search warrant on 1328 Sumner St. and SWAT team members served it at 6 a.m., Peschong said. They cleared the house a half hour later and found no one inside.
Leiser still was awake when the SWAT team members went in and said he thinks they broke down the front door.
“I heard this great big sound, like a great big sledge pound,” he said.
Leiser has lived in his house for seven years and said this is not the norm for the neighborhood.
“I’ve never seen this before,” he said. “It’s been pretty safe.”
Naif Al-Kazahy was born in a refugee camp in Saudi Arabia, his family members said. He emigrated with his family to the United States when he was 6 years old, and they lived in Michigan for five years.
Naif was the oldest of seven siblings -- four brothers and two sisters -- living in the United States, Munif said. Five more siblings remain in the Middle East.
“He was always outgoing. He never let anyone hold him back. He was the brother that all the little brothers and sisters looked up to,” Munif added.
After his family moved to Nebraska, Naif was a student at Lincoln High School, family members said.
Three years ago in Lincoln, he met Mia Montes, 18, who would become his girlfriend. Montes, who now lives in Callaway, said the couple talked about getting married and having kids, something Naif wanted to do soon.
Montes said she talked with her boyfriend over the phone less than 30 minutes before the fight broke out, and Naif sounded normal.
“He was his same happy, cheerful, loving self.”
Munif said his older brother wanted to open up his own business in Kansas. The type of business didn’t matter; Naif just wanted to be his own boss.
“It’s what he always wanted to do,” Munif added. “He was a good man. He was a smart, smart kid. No one will ever replace my brother to me. No one.”
Al-Kazahy's death capped an unusually violent month in Lincoln. July brought three shootings in the city that resulted in death or serious injury.
Orlando Sifuentez, 41, was shot and killed in a feud July 4 that started when 23-year-old Robert Sweets Robinson allegedly hit Sifuentez's son with his car while the 8-year-old was playing with fireworks in the street and then drove off. The boy suffered minor injuries.
Isaac Durr, 28, was shot by his neighbor, 40-year-old Scott Brus, in an argument over Durr's barking dog. Brus then led Lancaster County Sheriff's deputies on a short car chase before shooting and killing himself July 10.
Lincoln tallied an average of 4.4 homicides each of the last five years, according to police data.
"We're very fortunate," said Davidsaver, who added that none of the shootings in July appear to be related. "We just don’t have very many crimes like that at all. When you have three in a short time, it certainly raises everyone's consciousness."