HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The man who was shot last week in what police described as a road rage shooting has died.
Ziad Abu Naim, 42, died Sunday evening, according to family members. His alleged shooter, 43-year-old Robert Craig Klimek, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, though the Harris County District Attorney's Office says that charge may now be upgraded.
According to court records, there was a dispute over who had the right-of-way at the intersection of Fairdale and Greenridge in Southwest Houston. Naim got out of his vehicle and punched Klimek twice in the face. Klimek pulled a semi-automatic pistol from the middle console and shot Naim once in the face. Klimek then helped Naim's wife call 911 and did chest compressions on him.
Naim's family disputes that entire account.
"The story is a BS story that has been told. When he got out of the car and punched a man that's all BS story. He would never do such a thing," said Alia Naim, the victim's cousin.
They along with the Council on Islamic- Arabic Relations (CAIR) say they want authorities to investigate the shooting as a hate crime. The only eyewitness at the scene, the victim's wife, allegedly heard Klimek say "Go back to Islam" before shooting Naim. They also say Naim, Jordanian born, but American citizen, never threw punches.
"My brother got out, pissed, got out of the car and told him 'are you crazy?' 'What 's wrong with you.' As soon as he finished his word, the guy popped him in the head...shot him in the head," said Eyad Abu Naim, the victim's younger brother.
On Monday, Klimek's attorney Craig Seldin told Eyewitness News:
"We think it's unfair he's been accused of engaging in a hate crime. This was a random traffic dispute during which he was defending himself. We vociferously deny any allegations of a hate crime."
Seldin added he and his client are hopeful Klimek will not be indicted when the case goes to a grand jury. He is out of jail after posting a $50,000 bond.
Houston police are asking anyone who many have witnessed what happened to contact them. Their investigation is ongoing.
Naim's relatives are donating his organs.
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