-- An Arab-American family in Oklahoma said their neighbor "terrorized" them for years and called them racially offensive names before he allegedly shot and killed their son.
In an interview with ABC News, Victoria Jabara Williams said her family emigrated from Lebanon to the United States in the 1980s and settled in Tulsa County, Oklahoma. Over the years, she said, their next-door neighbor Stanley "Vernon" Majors increasingly bullied them by "calling us racial slurs," "throwing rocks" and even "running my mother over with his car."
"We were scared," Williams told ABC News. "He just terrorized us. He was hateful, just hateful."
The tension came to a head Friday night. Majors, 61, is accused of shooting Williams’ 37-year-old brother, Khalid Jabara, according to the Tulsa Police Department.
Williams said her tight-knit family has been struggling to deal with the loss.
"He just was a sweet, sweet soul," she said of her slain brother. "He sparked that humor and that love to be together. It's something that is not replaceable. We will never be able to get that back."
After allegedly shooting Jabara, police say Majors pointed his gun at a witness and fled the scene. He was apparently hiding behind a tree near a library when officers located him.
"If we knock on the door and [Majors] doesn’t answer, there’s nothing that gives us the opportunity to go into his house," Tulsa Police Sgt. Dave Walker told ABC News.
Police said that there had been "many calls to the area that involved Majors acting aggressively towards his neighbors." Majors is currently awaiting trial on an assault with a deadly weapon charge involving Khalid Jabara's mother, Haifa Jabara, stemming from 2015, according to police and the Tulsa District Attorney's Office. He was initially held without bond, but a judge allowed his release three months ago, according to CNN. Majors has pleaded not guilty in that case.
Williams issued a statement Monday on behalf of her family, saying Majors was someone they "continuously brought to law enforcement's attention." When Khalid Jabara called police the night of his death, he stated that Majors "had a gun" and "was scared for what might happen," she said.
Police have not spoken to Majors since he was transported to a local hospital after falling ill in police custody. Police said they "have recovered one handgun and...are not looking for any other suspects at this time." Majors has since been released from the hospital and is currently in jail.
Williams said she believes hate was a motivation in her brother’s murder.
"This was hate driven," she told ABC News. "Why our family? Why is there so much hate in your heart?"
But police aren’t convinced that Khalid Jabara's shooting death was a hate crime.
"This was an ongoing dispute with neighbors. So yeah there’s hate there, I just don’t think the only reason is because they’re Middle Eastern," Walker said.
Police said Majors had a protective order against him "that stated that he was supposed to stay a certain number of feet away from the victim’s mother and household."
"The protective order was issued by the Tulsa County District Courts," police said. "The Tulsa Police Department does not determine who can live somewhere and who can’t. We would only take action if someone were to violate that protective order."
Police say Majors will be facing a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of Khalid Jabara. He has yet to be formally charged and it is not clear if he has obtained a lawyer, the Tulsa District Attorney's Office told ABC News.
ABC News’ Clayton Sandell and Heidi Jensen contributed to this report.