NewsLocal News


Friends of the man who allegedly killed his wife say he is innocent

Posted at 5:19 PM, Aug 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-24 20:26:00-04

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) - Friends of the man accused of killing his wife while their nine children were in the house are coming to his defense.

They showed up at the El Cajon Courthouse on Wednesday in anticipation of a hearing which got postponed.

The suspect's friends say he was a pillar in the Syrian community, a man that many supposedly look up to.

Rafid Albawi, a friend of 45-year-old Abdulhannann Alrawi, says he is a loving husband and caring father. He says he could never envision him doing something like this, “To be honest, we are shocked at what happened.”

He says that he has been friends with Alrawi for four years, “The stories I heard that wasn’t accurate.”

Police say that Alrawi shot his 37-year-old wife. They found her dead in their home off Soma Place. Neighbors on Monday told ABC10 News that they would hear the pair fighting for months.

RELATED: Man shot, killed wife while nine children were home, El Cajon Police say

However, Rafid Albawi says that they have only lived there for two weeks. He says they previously lived at a home near Peach Tree, which Rafid says they have no given to a Syrian Refugee family, that Alrawi used to sponsor.

"When I see them, they are like joking also, they say I love you," furthers Albawi.

Albawi says he saw the pair just last week, “They come, and they were joking, they complete paperwork and they wanted to go to school, and we helped them with that," he explains. "And they are a very lovely family.”

Rafid Albawi says that Alrawi was a pillar in the Syrian community. He is a co-signer for many individuals seeking refuge in San Diego.

He also says that Alrawi was an outstanding father to his nine kids.

“He was looking for a good future for himself and for his kids," Rafid explains. "He kept telling me I am so happy here. I feel like I have a future.”

Police say the nine children who are ages two to 17, were not harmed in this incident.

Albawi says he spoke to them, and they shared with him that they were sleeping when the shooting happened. They are now all together, staying with a family friend.

Albawi shares he's saddened to know they will now be left without their mother, “They love their mom, and they are very sad.”

Rafid says Alrawi worked as a security guard but would not specify where.

He said his friend fled Syria and moved to Florida, living there for a few years before moving to California.

Rafid says that he did not know if Alrawi owned a gun and did not know what really happened inside of that home. However, he assures that he will stick by his friend, no matter the outcome.

“I don’t think so, that he’d make it on purpose," shares Albawi. "I trust him. He’s a good guy, a very good guy.”

Rafid Albawi says that Abdulhannan Alrawi knows zero English, which is why his arraignment was moved to Thursday when a translator will be present.