Violent argument led up to deadly shooting at Tampa Mosque

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – Just after Midnight on May 20 as the observance for Ramadan was wrapping up, two men were involved in a violent argument in the parking lot of the Islamic Society of Tampa Bay.

According to an arrest document, MD Rakibul Haque saw a car being driven by Rafat Saeed coming through the Mosque Parking lot.

Haque walked in front of the car, physically blocking Saeed and then the two men began a verbal argument that developed into a physical altercation.

There is security camera video of the incident at least one witness.

According to the arrest report, Haque eventually hit Saeed in the upper body, then shoved him towards his car. He then drew a semi-automatic handgun and fired two shots. One of the shots hit Saeed in the back and killed him.

Haque called 9-1-1 and reported the shooting as self-defense. An attorney for Saeed’s wife says this is not a self-defense case.

“He didn’t pose any threat to his life. He had a tazer, he could have tazed him. He had a walkie talkie, he could have called for backup.. There’s two off duty sheriff’s on the premises,” said attorney Sam Badawi.

Badawi maintains the Islamic Society of Tampa Bay knew the two men had argued before and yet they continued to employ Haque as an armed security guard.

“We truly believe the Mosque failed to supervise this individual. The Mosque failed to put an end to this continuous, ongoing conflict between the two,” said Badawi.

The Islamic Society of Tampa Bay has previously denied that Haque was working for the Mosque in any capacity at the time of the shooting. Badawi maintains the evidence will prove otherwise.

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