Highland News Leader

Police want info from phone, laptop of man they say stabbed self

Mahmoud Massoud
Mahmoud Massoud Highland Police Department

Highland police want to search the phone and computer of a man who they believe stabbed himself, made up a story about a home invasion, and fired two shotgun blasts through a wall in order to bolster his story.

“We wish to search the computer and cellular phone to determine if they contain any information or internet searches related to filing a false police report, internet searches to self-inflicted stabbing, or other research on similar topics,” Highland Detective Brian McClenahan wrote in an affidavit seeking to obtain a search warrant.

On Aug. 22 at around 10 a.m., Highland Police received a 911 call from a neighbor of Mahmoud Massoud, 35, who reported multiple shots having been fired in the 1000 block of Cedar Street. The neighbor said Massoud then ran out his house trailer, yelling.

When police arrived, they found Massoud laying on the ground in front of his home, bleeding from a stab wound near his right shoulder. Massoud had also called 911, police said.

According to police, Massoud said a bald white man, whom he did not know, had come into his home through a rear door, came into his bedroom and stabbed him, and then fled out the back door. Police said Massoud also told them he had fired his 12-gauge shotgun twice at his alleged assailant. The two rounds of buckshot both went through the trailer’s outer wall, leaving visible holes, according to police.

The 911 calls prompted activation of the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System tactical team, which evacuated other homes around Massoud’s and put a nearby daycare on lockdown.

However, police said they could find no evidence to back up Massoud’s version of events.

Emergency crews and a SWAT team were called out Tuesday in Highland, according to Highland EMS Chief Brian Wilson. The crews were in the area of Casey’s General Store at 315 Broadway in Highland.

“There were multiple discrepancies between Massoud’s statements and the details from the scene, which led investigators to believe that Massoud had stabbed himself in the shoulder with a knife and then fired rounds through the side of the residence,” McClenahan’s affidavit said.

According to the affidavit, neighbors told police they had a clear view of Massoud’s home at the time the gunshots were fired, and they saw no one exit the trailer. A police tactical team search of the trailer also found no one inside, the affidavit said.

McClenahan also said that police had found prescription-grade, injectable Lidocaine, a medication used as a local anesthetic, as well as syringes in Massoud’s dresser drawer.

In his affidavit, McClenahan said that Massoud had also called 911 at 7:11 a.m. that same morning to report an attempted home invasion.

“… Massoud had called 911 to report three to four white males were trying to get into his residence and were saying that they were going to kill him because he is a Muslim,” McClenahan wrote. “Officers searched the residence at that time and did not locate anyone besides Massoud at that residence. Officers conducted a canvass of the neighborhood at that time and spoke with a neighbor who was outside at the time and did not see or hear anyone trying to get into his residence.”

According to McClenahan’s affidavit, police found a Dell laptop computer on the desk in Massoud’s bedroom that was paused on an unknown YouTube video. They also found an Apple iPhone 6 near the front porch area of Massoud’s home, near where he had been laying on the ground when police arrived for the shots-fired call.

Madison County Associate Judge Neil Schroeder approved the warrant to search the phone and computer.

Massoud is facing one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm and one count of reckless discharge of a firearm. He is free on $8,500 bond.