Man living in Indianapolis on expired visa faces federal gun charges

Ahmed Alaklouk faces federal charges of illegal possession of firearms. (Provided Photo/IMPD)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A man authorities say is a Saudi Arabian citizen living in Indianapolis on an expired student visa faces federal charges for illegal possession of firearms.

Ahmed Alaklouk was arrested on Jan. 28 in connection with criminal confinement and intimidation charges related to an incident at a tire shop he owned on 16th Street. Federal charging documents related to his illegal possession of two firearms were signed on March 7.

The investigation into Alaklouk’s possession of firearms began the morning of Jan. 20, when hotel security expressed concerns to IMPD about an AR-15-style rifle in the front seat of Alaklouk’s car in the valet parking area, coupled with the location of his hotel room: facing the area where the Women’s March would be held later the same day.

At 3 a.m. on Jan. 20, a front desk manager at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Indianapolis told a security officer there that someone had reported firearms in a vehicle at the hotel. The security officer told authorities that he saw firearms in the front and back seats of a black Chevrolet Avalanche, court documents say. The pickup truck was registered to Alaklouk, hotel records showed.

Two hotel employees told officers with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department that there were handguns in the backseat of the pickup and an AR-15-style rifle in the front seat. IMPD officers found the pickup and confirmed the AR-15-style rifle was in the front seat.

When IMPD ran the plate of the pickup, they found it was registered to Alaklouk but assigned to a different vehicle. They also found that Alaklouk’s driver’s license was expired, and he did not have a gun permit. Alaklouk approached the investigating officers, confirming it was his vehicle. They advised him not leave his guns in plain sight due to the incidence of vehicle break-ins downtown.

When Alaklouk opened his pickup to move the firearms, IMPD officers saw the AR-15 rifle appeared to be fitted with a scope, bipod and a bumpstock. When asked about the bumpstock, Alaklouk told officers, “It’s fully tricked out,” and that it belonged to his father. Hotel security then told Alaklouk that he had to move the guns out of sight in the pickup or move them to his hotel room safe.

Later that morning, when hotel security checked the pickup again and could still see the AR-15 rifle, a security officer went to Alaklouk’s room, where they found Alaklouk and two other men, and told him he would need to leave. Alaklouk left the hotel property at 9:45 a.m.

Hotel security told IMPD officers of their concern over the firearms in Alaklouk’s pickup truck, as well as the room he had booked, which overlooked the area where the Women’s March was scheduled to take place later the same day. Hotel employees on Jan. 23 told investigators Alaklouk had seven firearms in all in plain sight inside his pickup.

After further investigation, authorities learned Alaklouk’s father, who he said owned the AR-15, was a Saudi Arabian citizen who had left the United States a year earlier. They also determined that Alaklouk was a Saudi Arabian citizen whose visa had been terminated in September 2017 and whose Mar. 27 visa status adjustment applications had been denied on Jan. 18.

On Jan. 27, police were called to Alaklouk’s tire shop in the 3500 block of West 16th Street, where a customer named Sierra Morris told officers she had returned to the shop with her father, Byron Morris, after the tire she bought the previous day would not hold air. The discussion of the issue turned into an argument, during which Alaklouk and one of his employees pulled guns on Morris’s father, Morris told police. Morris also told police Alaklouk threatened to kill her and her father if they left the shop. Morris said she retrieved her own handgun and fired a shot into the air to get Alaklouk and his employees away from her father.

When interviewed by investigators, Alaklouk said Byron Morris became angry and pushed him. Then Alaklouk pushed Byron Morris down — that’s when, he said, Sierra Morris fired a shot. Alaklouk told police he grabbed a BB gun from his car to scare Morris and that while he held a the AR-15-style rifle during the incident, he did not point it at them.

Alaklouk said he had received the AR-15 rifle from a customer for work done on tires. He said he had lied to police outside the Hyatt Regency about the where he got the gun because “he was scared to get arrested.”

Alaklouk told police he had been in the Saudi Arabian military but quit and that he wanted to join the U.S. Air Force after he attended school.

When asked whether he had firearms in his residence, Alaklouk said no but then clarified, “I don’t have a gun registered to me at the house.”

After investigators told Alaklouk that they had recovered a pink handgun from his apartment, he told them he had bought it online from a customer.

Alaklouk’s wife, Amber Alaklouk, told police her husband gave her the pink gun to protect herself two weeks earlier.

24-Hour News 8 reached out to Marion County Jail to find out whether Alaklouk remained there but did not hear back. He was not listed in online jail records on Monday night.