The soldier, apparently to move her and get a better look at the boy, struck the 13-year-old Abrar on the head and arm with the barrel of his rifle. "These are the ones, shoot them, shoot them," he said.
Ryad, likely frightened, began crying. Though Abrar tried to comfort her brother, saying "don't worry, don't worry," she believed the soldier was about to shoot her.
The soldier fired, shooting the six-year-old boy through the side of his chest as Abrar held him. The boy slumped over and the soldier fired again into his back, sending the bullet to exit through the child's stomach.
Soldiers on each side opened fire into the car. Abdelhamid's sister Karema, in the back seat, was shot in the head and died instantly. Zakaria, her eight-year-old, was struck in the torso but continued breathing. In the front, a bullet hit Najat's left arm, shattering it. Abdelhamid suffered bullet fragments in his right arm and rear shoulder. Omran, Karema's other young son, was hit by bullet fragments in his head, where they remained until they could be removed a week later. The boy said he did not think he passed out but remembers being "confused" and still in the lap of his mother's body.
The firing looked mostly random, Abdelhamid recalled. "They were not professional soldiers," he said. Now an auto mechanic, he served in the Libyan army in the 1990s, where he received weapons training with the same weapon, the Kalashnikov submachine gun, allegedly used in the assault. "They did not aim. If they had been professional soldiers they should have easily killed all of us."
Abdelhamid believed his wife and the passengers in the back seat, had all been killed. He could only see his two daughters move, hunching down to avoid the gunfire. He sped off, driving toward Gurji.
"At that time my goal is to save myself and my two daughters," he remembered. The soldiers fired after the car, then got in their own car, which he thinks was a small sedan, and gave chase. He made for an overpass about a kilometer away, planning to drive off the bridge, hoping to survive the crash, rather than allowing the pursuing soldiers to catch them. Before he reached the overpass, however, he reached a rebel checkpoint marking the neighborhood of Fellah, where he stopped. Rebels manning the checkpoint carried the family from the car. Nearby residents, hearing what had happened, came from houses and aided the family.
Khadija began to attend to her brother, Ryad, who was still breathing. But her father told her to leave him and run to the soldiers, where he believed she would be safer. Two of the rebels at the checkpoint ushered the family to a nearby first aid station in Fellah and then drove them in their only vehicle, a refrigerated delivery truck, two kilometers away to Gurgi, where there was a clinic. Fifteen minutes later, a medic pronounced Ryad dead. Though the survivors had injuries, some serious, it was not possible to go to a hospital, as most medical facilities were still in loyalist hands.