Local News

Salvation Army worker: Hit-and-run suspect was coherent before crimes

Posted March 10, 2010

— A Salvation Army worker testified on Wednesday that the man accused in a 2004 hit-and-run rampage across three counties appeared coherent the morning of the crimes.

Abdullah El-Amin Shareef, 31, of Raeford, is charged with murder and four counts of attempted murder. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against him.

Authorities said Shareef stole a city-owned van in Fayetteville on April 14, 2004, hit and injured three men in Fayetteville, then ran over Lonel Bass in Linden, killing him. Shareef abandoned the van, took Bass' pickup truck and continued north, authorities said, running down another man in Harnett County before crashing the truck in Fuquay-Varina, where he was arrested.

Salvation Army worker recalls Shareef Salvation Army worker recalls Shareef

Shareef has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, and his attorneys said he suffered from untreated paranoid schizophrenia.

Rashad Rahmaan, a mental health professional who is a friend of Abdullah Shareef's family, testified last week that he tried to get Shareef evaluated at a mental health facility in Hoke County, but the rampage occurred while Shareef was waiting for his appointment.

Shareef was placed at a Salvation Army in Cumberland County two days before the rampage because there was nowhere else for him to stay, Rahmaan said.

Salvation Army worker Dajuana Amerson said people at the shelter are required to leave by 7 a.m., but the morning of the rampage, Shareef came back between 7  and 8 a.m. because he said he forgot a shirt. Amerson said Shareef was peeping through the front window and darting back and forth through the parking lot.

In the days prior to the attack, Amerson said, she noticed a change in Shareef’s demeanor. On April 12, 2004, she said, Shareef left the shelter for the weekend to visit his wife and children. “He seemed distant and not really responsive,” she said Wednesday.

"He more or less stared off into space. He could look at me, but it was more like he wasn't looking at me. he was looking through me," she continued.

Amerson was among the rebuttal witnesses called by the prosecution.

Shareef told a judge on Wednesday that he did not want to testify on his own behalf.

Closing arguments will begin Thursday.


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  • affirmativediversity Mar 10, 2010


    Mr. Rahmann was pretty judgemental about the services offered by Hoke County. If you read his testimony he (Mr. Rahmann) clearly invokes his "professional status" while lambasting Hoke Co. Mental Health services or lack there of.

    I have one question for Mr. Rahmann...if he's such a professional why didn't he seek an inpatient program for his friend instead of showing his derrier at a small rural service provider to the extent that he was asked to leave?

    I have another question...if as a professional he was so concerned for his friend and after showing his derrier at Hoke County...why was he then content to let his friend fend for himself in a homeless shelter? Did he believe his friend to be a threat to himself or others BUT, as a professional, just ignore it? What is his responsibility, as a professional? He's apparently pretty quick to judge the short comings of other professionals?

  • dholes Mar 10, 2010

    Totally agree 27615

  • anneonymousone Mar 10, 2010

    Coherence and bad brain chemistry are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

    AffirmativeDiversity, please don't judge Rashad Rahmaan too harshly. As a family friend, what he saw was bound to be much different than what he would see in his role as mental health care professional. Family friends are not in the position of making diagnoses or implementing treatment plans. Mr. Rahmaan did what he could to help.

  • findoutthefacts Mar 10, 2010

    whatever skaternum....i suppose he never had mental illness before...just when he kills people and goes on rampages.

    The vast majority of people who claim mental illness never had it before and haven't had any "episodes" since. If you legitimately have a mental illness, it has always been there. They don't just decide to start one day. For those people who just have them all of a sudden, it's a ploy to get out of trouble!

  • affirmativediversity Mar 10, 2010

    "Rashad Rahmaan, a mental health professional who is a friend of Abdullah Shareef's family, testified last week that he tried to get Shareef evaluated at a mental health facility in Hoke County, but the rampage occurred while Shareef was waiting for his appointment"

    If indeed Rahmann is a "mental health professional" then HE should have realized IMMEDIATELY that the Hoke County "facility" (ie. a 2 or 3 person office with NO inpatient care) was woefully inadequate for his friend.

    Why didn't he take his friend to a "facility" that could offer inpatient care as a option?

  • skaternum Mar 10, 2010

    No one says he didn't do it. Clearly 27615 has no idea what mental illness is really all about. Please drag yourself and your unenlightened attitudes about mental illness into the 21st century. Actually, we'd probably be grateful if you just dragged yourself into the *20th* century.

  • 27615 Mar 10, 2010

    Crazy or not, he did it! He doesn't need to be "helped" he needs to be put down!