A 69-year-old Southern California man has been charged with murdering his 29-year-old son for being gay, the Los Angeles Times reports. Police say Shehada Issa killed his son Amir Issa with a shotgun outside their home on Tuesday. The district attorney says Shehada had threatened to kill Amir for being gay multiple times in the past, and authorities are considering the killing a hate crime. But Shehada is claiming self defense, according to the AP. The Los Angeles Daily News reports he claims he found his wife stabbed to death in the bathroom, grabbed a gun, and then ran into Amir outside. Authorities say he claims he shot Amir after Amir threatened him with a knife. The body of Shehada's wife, who hasn't been identified, was found inside the house, but no knife was found on the scene.
Police are calling the incident a "horrible family tragedy." Neighbors frequently heard Amir and Shehada screaming at each other, and Amir was being evicted from the family home by his parents. Shehada is being held without bail pending an arraignment on April 11. If convicted of premeditated murder, he faces life in prison. There are no details available on the death of Amir's mother, and police are continuing to investigate. No charges have been filed in connection with her death. (Read more hate crime stories.)