News / Calgary

Syrian refugee family's home struck by bullet in northeast Calgary

Calgary police said the shooting was targeted, though not at the family who lives in the home — it's a multi-unit residence

Nazha Elhedri (left) and Khalis Albirani said Albirani's niece was in her room as a bullet penetrated the window.

Jeremy Simes / For Metro

Nazha Elhedri (left) and Khalis Albirani said Albirani's niece was in her room as a bullet penetrated the window.

It’s the last thing this Syrian refugee family wanted. 

On Sunday afternoon, a bullet pierced Aisha Albirani’s bedroom window, hitting a wall to her right. Aisha, 12, was making her bed at the time. 

“She screamed — It could have killed her,” said Nazha Elhedri, a friend of the Albiranis. Elhedri was translating for the Aisha’s uncle, Khalil.

“They feel really unsafe — they just came from war. To them, they’ve been running away from those bombings. They’ve run away from (Syria) for a better life and peace and look what happened.”

On Monday, the Calgary Police Service (CPS) confirmed a bullet was found in the wall of a girl's room at the 1800 block of 38 Street NE in Rundle. 

Khalil said he didn’t hear the shot, suggesting the shooter might have used a silencer on the weapon.  That detail wasn't confirmed by CPS.

The bullet hole in the window.

Jeremy Simes / For Metro

The bullet hole in the window.

The Albiranis had just begun to settle in Calgary, leaving their war-torn homeland of Syria. They moved into the Rundle home about 15 days ago. 

In fact, Aisha lost her dad in the Syrian conflict — he was a victim in a bombing. 

“She’s orphaned,” Elhedri said. ”There’s six kids orphaned that we’re trying to take care of right now.”

CPS said it believes the gunshots were targeted, though not at the family or girl – the incident occurred in a multi-suite residence.

Elhederi said the gunman was likely targeting some person who lives in the residence’s basement suite. 

“Every day I see a different guy, different faces,” Elhedri said.

She said the Albirani's have been on the hunt for another home to rent. 

“They were happy to be settled and everything but, because of this situation that happened, it’s a bad memory for them.”

Aisha now won’t sleep in the home and neither will her aunt. 

“They're both scared,” Elhedri said. “I’m trying to take (Aisha) to my house because I have a daughter who's the same age, so she can feel comfortable and forget what’s happened.”

Aisha’s aunt plans to stay with her mom who lives nearby. 

“God loves this girl,” she said. “It was so close.”

The bullet hole in the wall.

Jeremy Simes / For Metro

The bullet hole in the wall.

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