Man Charged in Fourth of July Shooting in Portland

Residents say the summer shooting left them feeling unsafe in their neighborhood near Kennedy Park

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Months after a night of violence in Portland, Maine, including a shooting and fireworks launched at police officers, there has been an arrest in connection to the incident in Massachusetts.

On Monday evening, Portland Police announced that a U.S. Marshal violent crimes task force and local police had taken 46-year-old Hamza Hassan into custody in Medford on charges of elevated aggravated assault and reckless conduct charges.

The charges stem from an alleged incident on July 4, when police responded to a city housing complex in Portland called Kennedy Park.

That is where they began to treat 35-year-old Bashir Hassan, who was shot, injured and lying on the ground.

According to police, as this was going on, a hostile crowd formed and fireworks were launched at officers.

In a written news release sent to media outlets on Monday, Portland’s interim police Chief Heath Gorham, said, "it is imperative that we work with our local, state and federal partners to protect our citizens and remove violent offenders from the streets. I want to thank the Massachusetts agencies as well as the United States Marshals Service for their assistance with this apprehension. I also want to thank our officers who responded to the incident on July 4th and our detectives who worked tirelessly to identify Hassan and obtain the arrest warrant."

"I’m happy that he’s arrested," said Eman Al Hashimi, who lives in Kennedy Park with her family.

During a Tuesday interview with NECN and NBC10 Boston, both Eman and her brother, Mohammad, said that they generally feel safe there.

Eman also noted that she has seen more of a police presence in the area since the shooting this summer.

"They come and look at the place.. park there for maybe five to 10 minutes sometimes to check if the place is safe for us," she said.

Al Hashimi added that she values that safety because her family is originally from Iraq and came to the United States to leave behind violence there.

"In my home country, I didn’t feel safe," she said.

In the future, both Eman and Mohammad hoped there would be no additional shootings in the neighborhood nor a repeat of the alleged incidents this summer involving fireworks.

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