A Missouri man allegedly threatened a Muslim family while they were out looking for a home, according to police. The 72-year-old is alleged to have told the family they needed to die.
The father of the family is from Jerusalem and the wife is from Iraq. The couple said they’re raising their four children in St. Louis to escape violence, but that’s not what they found when house hunting on Sunday.
The family was driving around the area looking at homes when Leonardo Debello, 72, who is a decorated Vietnam War veteran, allegedly told the father and his family that they all needed to die, KMOV reports.
The Muslim family told a News 4 reporter that they were interested in buying a home near the intersection of Sioux and Big Chief in Affton, but as they were leaving the neighborhood, Debello yelled “you Muslim – All of you should die,” according to a police report.
Debello allegedly continued to tell the family that ‘This state allows you to carry a gun and shoot you.”
According to the police report, Debello then went into his home and returned with a handgun and yelled, “you, your wife and your kids have to die.”
Watch courtesy of KMOV:
Debello explained that he was off his medication for war-related PTSD when the incident took place.
Debello said that he takes responsibility for what happened, and added that he wrote a letter of apology that he would like the family to read.
The family said they would be open to an on-camera interview but they want to speak with the FBI first.
He also disputes some of the details in the police report but he declined to say what they were. While we can understand the problems that come with suffering from PTSD, then just maybe, if he’s under that much stress, he shouldn’t own a gun. Especially if he feels the state’s laws give him the authority to shoot anyone at any time.
He does say that now he has a sign up to remind him to take his meds.