RIYADH (Reuters) – The long-time personal bodyguard of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman was shot dead by a friend while at a private residence in the western city of Jeddah, in what the state broadcaster described as “a personal dispute”.
State media did not give details about the row that sparked the shooting on Saturday night of Major General Abdul Aziz al-Faghm, who was at another friend’s home in Jeddah’s al-Shatee district at the time, several km (miles) north of the palace where the king usually spends much of the summer.
A police statement, published by state news agency SPA on Sunday, said Faghm had a verbal exchange with Mamdouh bin Meshaal Al Ali, a man described as his friend, who then retrieved a firearm from outside and opened fire.
The shooter refused to surrender to police who had surrounded the site and who shot him dead, the statement said.
Another Saudi, a Filipino and five members of the security forces were also wounded by gunfire, the statement said.
Faghm, who was transferred to hospital but died from his wounds, had also served as the personal bodyguard of late King Abdullah, according to local media. His death prompted an outpouring of sympathy from Saudis on social media.
“May you rest in peace, hero …” senior Royal Court advisor Turki al-Sheikh tweeted.