In-N-Out Shooting Victim Helping Troops Prepare For Iraq

Martin Hanna Shot At El Cajon Restaurant By Dejon White, According To Police

10News learned the man shot at an El Cajon fast food restaurant on Saturday was helping local troops prepare for work overseas.

Martin Hanna has been at Sharp Memorial Hospital surrounded by his family just two days after police said he was shot at close range by 23-year-old Dejon White.

Authorities said Hanna was inside his car at the In-N-Out Burger on North Magnolia Avenue when he was shot.

White is also suspected in the City Heights shooting of San Diego police Officer Jeremy Henwood, minutes after Hanna was shot.

About an hour later, White was shot and killed by officers after a confrontation outside of an apartment complex on 48th Street.

Henwood died in the hospital early Sunday morning.

Hanna, 23, was born in Iraq in 1988 and is one of 12 children who moved to El Cajon in 2006 in search of a better life.

Hanna's priest told 10News Hanna was on rotation – as many local Chaldeans are – working one-on-one with U.S. troops to get them ready for work overseas.

He was teaching them the ways of the Iraqi people, including how to speak Aramaic and Arabic.

10News learned Hanna also makes a living playing the drum with his father, who is said to be the only person in San Diego who can play the zurna, a flute-like instrument that has been played at Chaldean weddings for centuries.

"He was Chaldean and had red hair," said acquaintance Amber Palozzi.

Friends and family said he loved In-N-Out Burger and was a regular at the restaurant in El Cajon.

Palozzi said she saw Hanna in his silver Mitsubishi Eclipse at the restaurant moments before he was shot.

Hanna was rushed to the hospital and underwent 14 hours of surgery over the weekend.

On Monday, Hanna's brother-in-law told 10News that Hanna finally "opened his eyes" and is "doing much better."

Police said they do not think Hanna knew White and believe it was a random act of violence.

Others who know Hanna said they can't think of a reason he might have known White.

Print this article Back to Top