Employee Jailed After Shooting Would-Be Thief Who Broke into His Store

Update (4/2): Prosecutors at Abushariah’s bond hearing showed the judge surveillance video that they say captures Abushariah shooting one of the burglars “point-blank in the back.” They also said Abushariah told investigators “I wish him dead” after detectives told him that he was going to be charged.

Abushariah has four prior assault and battery charges, one of which includes a protective order that prohibits him from possessing a gun.

Abushariah’s lawyer argued this is a “reasonable self-defense case” and noted that the store was pitch black at the time of the incident.


A Virginia man has been jailed without bond after he opened fire on three masked suspects who tried to rob his store early Sunday morning.

Hamzeh Abushariah, 33, had been sleeping in the backroom of a smoke shop in Arlington when he heard the front window’s glass breaking around 4:30 a.m. Abushariah had been sleeping in the store to save money and avoid coronavirus, according to the store’s owner, Jowan Zuber.

Abushariah grabbed a handgun and opened the door to the sales floor, where he saw three masked suspects attempting to steal from the store, according to a police report obtained by local media

Abushariah opened fire on the three suspects, striking one while the other two fled. The suspect who was shot was a juvenile who sustained a “serious but not life-threatening injury,” according to police.

The police report also notes that Abushariah retreated to the backroom after his initial shots but returned to fire again as the suspects fled.

Zuber told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that when police arrived, they asked Abushariah why he didn’t run out the back door.

“It’s very sad for America today as American citizens practice their Second Amendment to protect the store and their lives,” Zuber said. “Do you know what the [responding] police officer told him [Abushariah]? ‘Why didn’t you run out the back door?'”

Abushariah was arrested and charged with malicious wounding, reckless handling of a firearm, and violation of a protective order.

SEE ALSO: The Legal Arguments for Closing Gun Shops During COVID-19 Pandemic

“This is very sad,” Zuber told Carlson. “I was born in Arlington, I pay taxes. The gun is registered and everything is perfect. But I can’t believe as American citizens, we are being treated like this. And this gets the criminals out there [thinking] ‘We can go rob stuff, kill people and hurt people and guess what, people have to run out the back door’. This is mind-boggling.”

Zuber said he had purchased two handguns several weeks prior because he feared civil unrest as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We bought protection for the store just in case, because on Facebook you see a lot of robberies, a lot of things going on,” Zuber told WJLA.

Multiple reports have speculated that police response times will be slowed during the COVID-19 outbreak, and police departments across the country have said that they won’t be responding to certain types of crime.

Arlington County Police say Abushariah was charged with violating a protective order because he was not allowed to have a firearm.

Arlington County officials also encouraged citizens not to rush to judgment and claimed to have additional details that informed their decision to prosecute Abushariah.  

SEE ALSO: Everytown on Gun Industry Being ‘Essential’: Guns Don’t Make You Safer… You Can’t Shoot a Virus

In the meantime, Zuber fears that Abushariah’s health will deteriorate the longer he remains in jail. He told Carlson he “heard [Abushariah] coughing very hard” and believes people should be kept away from jail at this time.

As a general rule, the law in Virginia does not require a person to retreat prior to deadly force when confronted with an aggressor, provided the person did not provoke the confrontation and the force is proportional to the harm threatened, according to Virginia lawyer Thomas M. Wilson.

Virginia also does not require handguns to be registered to own.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 64 comments… add one }
  • Chuck Reynolds January 4, 2021, 8:09 am

    What a travesty of Justice!

  • Shikarchee April 12, 2020, 2:02 pm

    Arlington, VA has one of the worst police and justice system.
    Cops are the lowest kind of LE.
    County is Democrat, so you are in trouble if you use guns to protect yourself.
    And yes, only Cops are allowed to shoot people in the back and claim their life was in danger👎

  • Christopher Chason April 10, 2020, 6:28 am

    Yup. MORE too come! Get ready for your’ turn!
    I started shouting the warnings about this over thirty years ago and was told I was a Nut! A Kook! “It can’t ever happen! This is America! We have RIGHTS!”
    Sure. Don’t mind me!

  • Chum Lee April 6, 2020, 9:54 pm

    Selective & subjective enforcement: The cop(s) and prosecutor are not objective and even in their application of prosecutorial discretion. If they want you, they got you. You might beat the rap, but it will come at great cost of time and money.
    My answer to every cops’ question if I’m being accused: “I’m too stupid to answer that question.” (Only my lawyer is smart enough– hopefully.)
    –The voice of experience

  • Tc April 6, 2020, 2:57 pm

    Hmm, some people have broken into your store, it’s dark, do you wait for them to harm you, do you run out the back door where more may be waiting… are they after you or candy bars? If only you had the luxury of viewing the incident from the prosecutor’s desk a week later at a relaxed pace.

  • John Wick April 6, 2020, 8:51 am

    “…are you keen on earning a coin?”

    “Will you be needing a Dinner Reservation, perhaps?”

  • Peter April 6, 2020, 7:40 am

    The policeman was wrong to tell people run out the back door. Do you think he will run out the back door if robbers break into his house of his police station? They made wrong arrest, i think you can sue them, no?

    • wayne godzich April 9, 2020, 12:38 pm

      As a former Police Officer with 42 yrs of continuous full time duty I concur with the fact that running out the back door of the store can get you killed. There’s a lot of PO’s today that are from a different time and place trained different by liberal minds. To make a comment like why didn’t you run out the back door doesn’t fit my course of action in this incident. Perhaps some better choices could have been made but don’t judge this man unless you were there and felt his fear for his life, that’s what experienced investigators evaluate.

  • Andrew N. April 5, 2020, 12:21 am

    First off, it wasn’t “his” firearm. It belonged to the owner of the store, it was there for employee protection. Second, it was dark and 3 masked invaders broke into the store for God knows what, until he started shooting. I don’t care if he had a “can’t possess” order hanging over him, defending his life with an available firearm SHOULD be allowed. I can understand (sort of, depending on circumstance) him not having / possessing a firearm at home if not allowed, not being able to defend yourself in a place of work with a record of robbery attempts is completely different. He shouldn’t have to die instead of picking up an available tool to save himself. This other crap about “defense of life only” is B.S. If you keep getting robbed and don’t respond, how long before they shoot you and take what you have on you as well? “Run out the back door?” Into what? Maybe other thugs just waiting for that response. I’m of a mind you protect your property as well as your life. If the criminal doesn’t like that, oh fu#&ing well! Don’t steal, asshole!

  • Ned flanders April 4, 2020, 8:08 pm

    Moral of the story, dont talk to the cops. Let your lawyer talk to the cops.

  • Pat J April 4, 2020, 2:48 pm

    This poor schmuck did not run out the back door because he was unable to think of it in that moment.
    I know for a personal fact that I had to make the same mistake through simulation training, and I got my bony old ass good and shot with a simulated round because of it. Consider and decide beforehand, adrenaline moments are not made for reflection. Smoke shop-as in pot?

  • Gerald Mann April 3, 2020, 9:40 pm

    If the shooter didn’t have a firearm ans the 3 bad guys killed him in some way can I assume the draconian news would say 3 people robes an Innocent man and got away free, thus letting every bad guy around know he would be unarmed and alone ! What ever happened to the right to protect your life , family, and property?

  • Paul April 3, 2020, 5:17 pm

    The Law NEEDS to be CHANGED. I don’t care, if someone breaks in to any place. If he has a gun and threatens or fires a gun, they should be shot on the spot. The laws are now to give criminals the advantage. Time to stop them. Especially in this environment. You should NOT have to retreat from your own residence. And I don’t care if they are retreating. They were a threat and need to be treated with deadly force. If you don’t it will be someone else next week.

  • GaDawg April 3, 2020, 2:08 pm

    After his first encounter, he retreated to a back room and that was his justified self-defense. The attack was over at that point. He should have called 911 to report the assault and wait for the cops. But he didn’t. He left the safety of the backroom to resume the firing upon fleeing suspects and that is where the law will nail him and justifiably so.

    • Ted April 3, 2020, 3:35 pm

      WRONG ANSWER ! I guess you didnt read the part that said that he was PROHIBITED FROM OWNING A FIREARM ! His assault charges and his Protective Order in this case Put him in the same position as a felon with a firearm. SO, EVEN IF HE WAS “JUSTIFIED” , he was wrong because he used a firearm that he should not have had in the first place !

    • Gus April 3, 2020, 4:05 pm

      That’s BS liberal mentality. As long as they were INSIDE the business, he should have the right to protect himself AND the business. Need to treat the CRIMINALS like CRIMINALS and VICTIMS OF CRIMES like VICTIMS once again!

    • Lee April 3, 2020, 5:24 pm

      In Texas there is no duty to retreat and rightfully so…. if you commit such a felony, it can be an instant death sentence for a would be criminal. This is the only fact that deters crime. Criminals know that police probably won’t ever catch them and if they do they will be given a slap on the wrist… in the meantime the brick and mortor store owners loss and replacement cost for the window could as much as put him out of business.

  • Sal Gagliano April 3, 2020, 11:57 am

    OK I read all your comments and thoughts but the way I read it (the article) and from what it states is 1 : that the shooter was not the store owner Zuber was , who was also the owner of the gun 2: the shooter was not allowed to own,use or be around firearms due to the protection order against him (4 prior assault charges does not make him a LAW ABIDING CITIZEN ) 3: this is what is still unclear, was the shooter the business owner or just the main manager or a partner with Zuber whom the article names as the shop owner? are the shop owner and the business owner different Zuber states in the article as saying WE brought 2 handguns for protection. 4: If Zuber legally bought the guns, did he know that the shooter was legally not allowed to have access to an unsecured firearm….. If so then why wasnt/isnt Zuber being prosecuted as well

    • Rattlerjake April 3, 2020, 12:58 pm

      So you immediately assume guilty until proven innocent. The report says he had 4 previous charges of assault and battery, but it doesn’t say whether he was convicted or they were dismissed, nor does it specify who was assaulted or why — maybe those assaults were self defense or maybe they wee bogus claims by his ex-wife, which is typical in a divorce/separation. Additionally, it mentions that he is separated from his wife or divorced because he has visitation of his 2 kids, which likely explains the BULLSHIIT protection order that many women get because they claim their husband is violent so they are more likely to get the kids in a divorce. Lets hear what the protective order is about – I seriously doubt that it is to prevent him from self defense against criminals breaking into the store. This case clearly shows why this idiocy of taking away an individual’s 2nd amendment right over a protective order can easily be abused. If this individual is such a threat and needed a protection order, why was he not in jail already?

      • ted April 3, 2020, 3:37 pm


    • Shan April 4, 2020, 12:44 am

      I notice you didn’t mention the actual criminals who intstigated the entire thing.

    • trevor_phillips April 6, 2020, 3:49 am

      I didn’t have any problems reading it.

  • Catawampus April 3, 2020, 11:15 am

    There is another angle to this whole mess, who pays for the hospitalization of the alleged burglar? who pays to support the employees family? A gunshot injury could easily cost 100k and up. welfare for the employees family could be 25k a year per individual, so 75k. The cost to defend against attempted murder in court, mucho denaro, the cost to imprison the employee 25k per year. the alleged burglar has already been contacted by persons wishing to represent him, so mister store owner, kiss it good by. And you mister and missus taxpayer get to pay for it all.

    • Rattlerjake April 3, 2020, 1:09 pm

      Although I like Tucker Carlson and he is on the right side, he is just as naive as the majority of Americans who ignorantly support cops! Law enforcement officers are just that, they enforce law. They could careless whether those laws are constitutional or not, they just do as they are told. The police are NOT your friends, even if it is family, they are OWNED by the government. If you think your tax dollars are paying their salaries, which makes them work for you, YOU’RE A FOOL! ALL cops are your enemy – they do not care if they break the law because they are protected from nearly all prosecution and they don’t care if they violate your rights because they believe you are guilty until the courts rule otherwise. One thing you should NEVER do — never talk to cops, refuse to answer under the 5th amendment because ANYTHING you say (even if it is just a “friendly” conversation), can be used against you; and if they try to force you to talk, lawyer up! There are no good cops, some are just no as bad as the others!

      • Bullseye April 3, 2020, 3:21 pm

        You My friend, are paranoid, naïve and anti police. There are good Cops and bad Cops (very few bad) and they do enforce the laws (that they do not make). The Police are not out to arrest innocent people for protecting themselves. The largest majority do a great job protecting society and prosecuting the bad guys and the USA would be in total chaos without the entire criminal justice system. It is far from perfect, but it is the best in the world.

      • Ken April 4, 2020, 8:06 am

        As a army veteran,a police officer and volunteer firefighter I was going to write a very long intelligent response to your stupid statement . Then I realized your to stupid to understand so I’ll just leave it with this. Your a F@@@ing tool bag.

      • trevor_phillips April 6, 2020, 3:50 am

        Spoken like a true libtard

    • Comanche April 4, 2020, 1:43 am

      According to you, a cynical Progressive liberal, crime does pay!!!

  • JOSHUA BROOKS April 3, 2020, 11:05 am

    Such BS…you steal, you deserve to get shot!!!

    • Rattlerjake April 3, 2020, 1:13 pm

      The failure of the American system of justice is proof that the end times are near. God said “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; … 21Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! 22…23Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! This is exactly what the left is doing!

    • briguy April 3, 2020, 1:26 pm

      In the state of Virginia, the use of deadly force is authorized only when bodily harm is intended on you; if you door someone over theft or damage of property, you’re the aggressor.

      Virginia is a stand your own ground state which means that if you feel that the rest of bodily harm is imminent, you have the right to defend yourself until the threat is taken care of. If the perpetrator backs off or runs away and you continue to fire, you are then the aggressor and can be criminally charged

      • Ted April 3, 2020, 3:40 pm


        The Lautenberg Amendment, also known as the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, is named for the amendment’s sponsor, Senator Frank Lautenberg. The amendment prohibits any persons convicted of an offense involving misdemeanor domestic violence from owning or possessing firearms and ammunition under any circumstances.

  • dave brown April 3, 2020, 10:47 am

    For about 20 years we have been training our LE to shoot way to easy, and to shoot way to many rounds. If it turns out the guy had a cell phone and not a gun, well our LE & their Government will deal with that by hiding out and lying about the details. Then when things die down the Gov fires The Cop. They are finally changing to Old School Law & Order which makes me feel safer, at least a little. I have been saying for years, if we allow our Cops the so called freedom to shoot at the slightest of concern for their safety, WELL then USA Citizens should be treated the same. No form of Government will take me up on this, and I really don’t want them to as some of us free folks are just a little nuts……. On that note why won’t the Right give USA National Carry, and why do both the right and the left make most of their office buildings Gun Free Zones? I call out BS on both the right and left, and I have been Party Free Voting for 53 years. God Bless US All.

  • Stan d. Upnow April 3, 2020, 10:17 am

    Bet that stupid cop that told him to “flee out the back door” also believes that no private citizen should own firearms. VA has gone down the crapper, as far as the 2nd A. is concerned. Keep the Progressive-Socialists in office and you deserve what you get.

  • OldGuy April 3, 2020, 10:12 am

    So three individuals were where they should-not-have-been, breaking and entering into a merchant’s business at 4:30 a.m. and doing what they should-not-have-been doing, breaking and entering and causing property damage with the intent to loot and to steal while wearing masks to disguise their identities, and the shop owner gets arrested for standing his ground and defending and protecting himself and his lively-hood?
    What does the State of Virginia expect the shop owner should have done, invite all three masked-robbers into the backroom for coffee and biscuits since they were already inside the store?
    After hearing the glass and voices, too bad the shop owner didn’t have a 12-gauge loaded to capacity with 00 Buckshot instead of a pistol.
    So what is the message the State of Virginia is attempting to transmit, because the shop-owner has a checkered past, he does not have the right to protect himself and his lively-hood? Or, it is better to only have one in jail during COVID-19 instead of three?

    • brievolz April 3, 2020, 1:24 pm

      In the state of Virginia, the use of deadly force is authorized only when bodily harm is intended on you; if you door someone over theft or damage of property, you’re the aggressor.

      Virginia is a stand your own ground state which means that if you feel that the rest of bodily harm is imminent, you have the right to defend yourself until the threat is taken care of. If the perpetrator backs off or runs away and you continue to fire, you are then the aggressor and can be criminally charged.

  • Nick S April 3, 2020, 8:25 am

    Let’s look at this realistically: do you really want to shoot someone? It’s easy to react emotionally and say the guy did nothing wrong or outside the bounds of what’s legal. I don’t care where you live, you’re taking a on a huge responsibility when you have a gun. Now, none of us were there. And, yes, if the option was grabbing his cell and gun and going out the back, that’s probably what I’d have done. I don’t want killing someone over property to be part of my life and legacy. If I felt my life were in immediate danger then of course I’d open up. Given that he was not supposed to have a gun, I’d want to prosecute, too. If he’s a wife beater or whatever caused the authorities to issue a restraining order, he broke the law. And, he should get a reasonable bail and sent home.

    • Steve April 3, 2020, 9:38 am

      Nick you are absolutely right about any sane honest human being wanting to harm or kill another human being but you are absolutely wrong about fleeing out the back door of your own house to avoid a confrontation are you kidding me my family is my highest priority and I will absolutely stop at nothing to protect their safety ! So with your logic I flee out my back door to save my life but let some scumbag worthless POS come into MY HOUSE at possibly shoot or slit the throat of my wife or my children are you insane ?

      • Ed April 3, 2020, 11:25 am

        You are dead on Steve…

    • Me April 3, 2020, 9:46 am

      That about sums it up right there

  • Shop Owner April 3, 2020, 6:40 am

    Honestly he should have just been sure to kill all of them. Think of ALL the trouble up to DECADES from now he would have saved society as that human trash he let escape gets BETTER at what they do. I would love to see their history 30 years from now,,, yea I remember Goetz,, the paralyzed one had a clean sheet after he met Bernard,, the others,, LONG crime history EACH,, Yup, been better they died in the smoke shop.

    • Ghost April 3, 2020, 8:53 am


  • Scouse April 3, 2020, 4:28 am

    First and foremost, most likely employee in a deep sleep! 4-30AM Huge crash. Totally disoriented. Acting very bravly. “you should have run out the back door!” God bless the free State of Florida. My home.

    • Stan d. Upnow April 3, 2020, 10:11 am

      FL? I just moved out of south FL, as it has turned into a congested, expensive, & Liberal sh-thole. Don’t forget, that Progressive-Socialist corrupt POS, Andrew Gillum, came within an inch of being elected governor by voters.
      May not be so lucky next time. FL ain’t like it used to be!

      • Shan April 4, 2020, 12:50 am

        Texas is next.

        • Sam W September 28, 2021, 1:45 am

          We are now a ‘Constitutional Carry’ state. State law is pre-emptory over municipalities.

  • Connie April 3, 2020, 2:55 am

    Ok, I see that it says that the man shot the burglar once, and then returned to shoot the intruder again. That does not mean that he is guilty of age assault or attempted murder. The guy could have seen the intruder writhing around reaching for something on the floor that he thought was a weapon, and blasted the guy again.

    To me, when you are the law abiding citizen and you use deadly force on a guy who just burglarized your home/store, I don’t feel bad if you get shot until you die. You put yourself in a situation where the bad guy could have been just as likely have attacked, or even killed, the guy in the store. Society is going overboard with this whole “you have a duty to only shoot one round, and then render aid” mentality. These are criminals, people. This is what they do, over and over again. Getting shot multiple times and dying after burglarizing a home or business should be considered a hazard of their “job.”

    • deanbob April 3, 2020, 8:56 am

      The punishment part of the law is intended to dissuade violating the law. As moralities have faded from the USA, so has respect for laws and fear of punishment (thanks to leftists and activist judges). So how much of these increases in shooting of perpetrators is their fault?

      • Bullseye April 3, 2020, 3:44 pm

        Very nicely said!

  • Bobs your uncle April 2, 2020, 1:58 pm

    Whats the big deal? some teens are out looking for some smokes and decided to break in to get some. the store clerk should have handed over the cash, the guns and anything else they wanted, but no, the big bully fires some shots and retreats and then when they don’t leave he returns and fires more. If the teens had acquired the guns I’m sure they would have turned them over to responsible adults and then the store owner should be prosecuted for not properly storing the fire arms. So whats the real story?

    • LJ April 3, 2020, 9:07 am


      • Bobs your uncle April 3, 2020, 9:30 am


  • Steve April 2, 2020, 10:03 am

    This is the first report That said that the shooter retreated and then returned to shoot the intruder again! The threat was over. The Carson program never revealed that fact! Having been a retired police supervisor I support gun rights but you must follow the law. Your article also said that the police said he wasn’t a authorized possessor of the gun. The hole truth needs to-be printed or we are no better that those who would take our guns away. You should do a follow up article and find out why he wasn’t a legal possessor under the law.

    • Blasted Cap April 3, 2020, 6:47 am

      As a retired police supervisor you should know that having a protection order filed against you disqualifies you from purchasing a firearm. That tidbit is in the article and is commonly called a clue.

      • Bullseye April 3, 2020, 3:43 pm

        Agreed. This store clerk who was a prohibited possessor would have been fine if he would have not shot at unarmed men for stealing. The law states you must be in fear for your life or serious physical injury, to be legally justified in using deadly physical force. Then after the initial shooting he moves to safety and then returns to shoot some more (all unjustified). He either did not know/understand the law or simply did not care and ignorance in not an excuse under the law.

    • Shan April 4, 2020, 12:53 am

      That info was placed at the beginning of the article. Maybe after you read it?

  • Cliff April 2, 2020, 8:40 am

    Typical of a DEMOCOMMUNIST-RUN state. just like communist-run N.Y. the criminals are coddled and now many are being released out of their cells, and into the public to carry on their “trade”.
    WAKE UP PEOPLE! Remember this in November when you consider even voting for a democommunist.
    We need this “party” banned, as the “democrat party” is long dead and has been “replaced” by the rabid COMMUNIST party to take over this country. Vote out any, and ALL democommunists or suffer the consequences of your actions or every “right” you THOUGHT you had will be removed, and ALL are turned into “subjects of the crown” to be used , abused or “eliminated” as the “rulers” see fit.

    • RJ April 3, 2020, 9:41 am

      You have problems done’t you?

    • Dennis April 4, 2020, 2:55 pm

      You are one with eyes wide open. We have to get the Democrats (Communists) out of office or we loose our Nation to Communist Pigs.
      If you are not voting today shame on you. Please change your ways and get out and vote out these Communist Democrats.
      To all who do vote please pay attention to the fact that the Democrats want to take all your guns, that is if you are law abiding. They do not care about the criminals having guns. Matter of fact they support criminals and criminal behavior. We need to all pull together as Americans not Political affiliation because there are a lot of people on main street that are still registered Democrats but the Democratic Politicians have forsaken America so the Democratic voter must now forsake the Democratic Politician. If you love your Liberty and Freedom its time to stand up against the oppression of the Communist Party. (Democratic Party)!

  • Anthony lutz April 2, 2020, 2:58 am

    I think store owner sholud not be charge for protecting his property

    • Blasted Cap April 3, 2020, 6:50 am

      Nah, only cops are allowed to shoot fleeing suspects in the back.

      • Dr Motown April 3, 2020, 8:07 am

        I don’t care if a thief is shot in the front, back or side. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

        • Driftwood April 3, 2020, 9:05 am

          Live by the sword, die by the sword. Crime has always been a hazardous business and should be so. Put two in the body and one in the head.

          • michael April 6, 2020, 11:42 am

            It’s funny. Everything everyone has said here today, pro or con, can be potentially used against them if they are ever involved in a firearm related incident. Stuff said on the Internet never goes away. it’s like talking to the police first hand after an incident.

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