His black Chevrolet Avalanche was parked at an Indianapolis hotel in January on the day of the city’s Women’s March — and the vehicle was loaded with weapons, Indianapolis police said.
There was an AR-15-style rifle stowed between the front passenger seat and the middle console of the pickup, as well as six handguns scattered in the back, according to a criminal complaint. Concerned employees at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Indianapolis had called police to investigate at 3 a.m. on Jan. 20 after they noticed the firearms in the vehicle.
When police spoke to the man the car was registered to — Ahmed Alaklouk, 22 — he admitted the car was his, and said the rifle belonged to his father. Noticing the weapon had been equipped with a scope, bipod and bump stock, police said they asked Alaklouk if it was in fact a bump stock. He responded yes, saying “it’s fully tricked out,” according to the criminal complaint.
Bump stocks are used to accelerate the firing rate of rifles. Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock used a bump stock during the October 2017 shooting he carried out at a music festival, killing 58 and injuring hundreds more with a rapid-fire spray of bullets from his hotel room overlooking the concert.
Alaklouk — a Saudi citizen and native of Tunisia — had no gun permit, an expired Indiana driver’s license and had been living in Indiana illegally on a terminated student visa since September 2017, according to the criminal complaint. He’s now facing federal charges for possessing a gun while living in the country illegally. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in federal prison.
The room he was staying at Jan. 20 overlooked the site of Indianapolis’ 2018 Women’s March, which drew about 3,500 women, the Indianapolis Star reports. But Alaklouk wasn’t arrested until about a week later, during a second gun-related incident, police said.
During their first encounter with Alaklouk at 3 a.m. on Jan. 20, police told him “not to leave firearms in the open due to the amount of vehicle break ins that occur in the downtown Indianapolis area,” the complaint said. Police told Alaklouk either to put the weapons in his hotel safe or keep them out of sight in the car.
At 7:45 a.m., though, hotel security checked to see if the weapons had been moved, and saw the rifle in the same place between the middle console and the passenger’s seat. Realizing his room overlooked the march, the hotel asked police to remove Alaklouk. Indianapolis police had Alaklouk and two unidentified men leave the room, according to the criminal complaint, and then authorities monitored Alaklouk that day as he went to the tire shop he owns in he city.
A week later, though, Alaklouk was in trouble again, police said.
This time a woman arrived at the shop with her father on Jan. 27 complaining of a shoddy tire. A disagreement over the tire escalated into violence — with Alaklouk grabbing the father by the neck and forcing him to the ground, according to the complaint. Then Alaklouk and one of his employees pulled out guns and pointed them at the father, investigators said.
At that point, the woman grabbed her own gun and fired a shot in the air, hoping to get the armed men away from her father, according to the complaint. Instead, Alaklouk had the employees detain the pair as he ran to get his assault rifle. When he returned with the AR-15-style weapon, he told the woman and her father: “If you leave I’ll f----g kill you,” the complaint said.
As the woman got in the car to leave, Alaklouk kicked the vehicle and then blocked her car in with his own vehicle, the complaint said. The woman and her father called police, and when authorities arrived Alaklouk dropped his weapon.
Alaklouk was arrested, an immigration detainer was placed on him and he was held at the Marion County Jail in Indianapolis, the complaint said. In connection with the incident, he was formally charged on Jan. 31 in Marion Superior court with two counts of felony criminal confinement, two counts of felony intimidation, felony unlawful possession of a firearm and misdemeanor battery, the Star reports.
Alaklouk told police the incident had started when the father became angry and pushed Alaklouk, according to the complaint. Alaklouk also said he’d received the rifle in exchange for “work done on tires on a customer’s car.”
Alaklouk told police he had been in the Saudi military before quitting, and wanted to join the U.S. Air Force, according to the complaint.