Dearborn teenager commits suicide

An 18-year-old resident is dead following a self-inflicted gunshot wound, a Dearborn police source confirmed to The Arab American News.

Jamal Dabaja shot himself in the neck on the evening of Wednesday, April 6 in the backyard of his home, while family members were present. The incident occurred on Wyoming and Morross.

According to sources close to the family, he had suffered from depression over a relationship.

Dabaja was rushed to a local hospital, where he remained in critical condition until he was pronounced dead on Thursday afternoon.

A popular social media account had falsely reported that Dabaja was shot by another male during a scuffle, but The Arab American News can confirm that is false.

Community activist Hussein Hachem knew Dabaja from the late teen’s father’s restaurant.

He said Dabaja was an “amazing person” and did not display signs of mental illness. Hachem added that he was in a state of disbelief after his death.

“He was a very good kid, always laughing, always joking,” Hachem said of the late Dabaja. “He never did anything wrong to any person; he never hurt any person.”

He added that he last met Dabaja at a bakery about two weeks ago, and the teen appeared in good spirit.

“He was very talkative,” Hachem said. “He is a family person. He liked being around people. This is very shocking news to me.”

Dabaja’s death is the latest in almost a dozen reported suicides in the local Arab American community within the past two years.

Last month, a 23-year-old student died of self-inflicted wounds.

In August of last year, a 20 year-old recent immigrant hung himself in the basement.
In May of 2015, an Arab American man killed his wife before taking his own life. The murder-suicide shocked the community.

In July of 2014, a pregnant woman shot herself. Earlier in 2014, a 19-year-old woman and two men also committed suicide within six months of each other.

The families of Arab American victims of suicide usually try to deny the incidents because of the stigma about mental health in the community.

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