DEARBORN – In a murder that shook the Arab American community, an unlicensed local dentist shot and killed one of his patients in his home in the west side of Dearborn after midnight on July 6, according to preliminary investigations and a Dearborn Police report.
Zayed Albodour, 52, was arraigned last Sunday in front of 19th District Court Judge Mark Somers. In addition to the murder charge, Albodour also faces one count of using a firearm during the commission of a felony. He was ordered held without bond. A probable cause conference will be held at 8 a.m. July 18 in front of Judge Sam Salamey.
Albodour, who is of Jordanian origin, is suspected of running an unlicensed dental clinic from his basement. He faces charges of first-degree murder and an armed felony after apparently shooting one of his patients, Ahmed Nasserdine, 28, a resident of Dearborn Heights.
Albodour killed Nasserdine, who is of Lebanese origin, with a single gunshot in the early morning hours of Thursday, July 6, during an attempt to break into his home near the intersection of West Outer Drive and Michigan Avenue in West Dearborn, according to what the Albodour family told Dearborn Police.
According to a report by the Dearborn Police, a copy of which The Arab American News received, officers responded to an emergency call at about 1 a.m. on July 6. Upon their arrival at the scene, they found a dead person on the back porch of the Albodour house on Olmstead Street. According to the report, Mutaz Albodour (the son of the accused) called 911, stating that “someone” had trespassed on their property and was inside the house. His father “found him and shot him.”
Mutaz told the dispatcher the “person was on our back porch” and “my dad grabbed his shotgun and shot him. The guy is dead.” He stated that his father was next to him and the gun was on the chair on the back porch. He described the weapon that was used in the shooting as a Mossberg 835, adding that his father did this in his “home defense.”
The report stated that upon police arrival at the scene, the patrol members found a blood-soaked body inside the sunroom. The victim was shot in the head and died instantly.
The report also indicated that the police arrested Zayed Albodour and transferred him to the department’s headquarters to continue the investigation. They also brought two of his sons to document their testimony, explaining that an investigator from the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an examination of the body in accordance with the procedures, including lifting fingerprints and taking samples from saliva to verify his identity through a DNA test.
The report stated that the police investigated the victim’s belongings, which included only a gold necklace and an iPhone, adding that Nasserdine came to Albodour’s house while driving a vehicle registered in his mother’s name and that the vehicle searches did not result in the presence of any items related to the incident.
According to the report, the investigators carried out a comprehensive search of Albodour’s house, which lasted until 6 a.m., and documented all relevant assets, including a magazine of bullets consisting of 12 rounds. The investigators noticed the presence of a dental chair and some equipment and medical items in the basement, and when they asked Albodour about the purpose of the equipment, he replied that he was working as a “dentist in Jordan.”
The report revealed that in the initial interrogation Albodour provided false information about the whereabouts of his personal phone, indicating that he had told the investigators that he had left it under his bed. When the police returned to confiscate it, they did not find the phone in that location, but they documented other people entering the house and doing some cleaning in the kitchen and bathroom.
Upon further interrogation, Albodour admitted to the whereabouts of his personal iPhone, adding that he put it in the oven drawer, so that the police would not return to the house again to get it.
Informed sources told The Arab American News that the search for the victim’s and suspect’s phones showed that the two men were in contact and that Albodour had a prior knowledge that Nasserdine was coming to see him at his house that night. According to the investigation the two exchanged several text messages and phone calls.
Nasserdine apparently had an unsuccessful root canal in Albodour basement clinic and was in a lot of pain. He told Albodour of his intention to come to the latter’s house for treatment of the painful tooth. Otherwise, he would inform the authorities about Albodour’s illegal clinic. He allegedly insisted on a treatment for his unbelievable pain and a refund for the money he paid for the root canal. Albodour allegedly refused to comply with request according to the source that looked at the text exchanges between the two.
The police report indicated that the investigators went to Nasserdine’s home in Dearborn Heights to notify his family of his death. They spoke to his mother, Khadije Hojeij, who spoke limited English, and his sister Nour, who helped with the translation. According to his mother, Nasserdine had been suffering from a severe toothache for several days and had asked her for pain medication.
On July 5, at approximately 9 p.m., he told his mother that he was going to see his “dentist friend.” His family had no information on who the dentist was, where he lived or how Nasserdine knew him.
Investigations revealed that Zayed Albodour was working as a dentist in Jordan and that he was “in fact familiar with the victim”, without confirming whether he was currently practicing the profession, at his home or anywhere else in the United States.
The victim’s sister suggested that her brother had threatened to expose Albodour if he did not treat his pain, which prompted Albodour to kill him.
The report stated that Albodour tried to obtain a permit to practice dentistry in Minnesota, but his request was rejected because he did not have the required qualifications.
The report also quoted Nasserdine’s relatives and friends as dissatisfied with the local authorities, who for many years allegedly ignored Albodour’s management of a medical clinic from his basement with the knowledge of many neighbors and the patients who went to him for dental work.
Ahmed Nasserdine’s family held a funeral for him at the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights last Sunday, before his body was transferred to Lebanon to be buried in his hometown of Alshihabiyah in the southern region district of Tyre.