Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF grad disputes testimony that he fired at gun range

TAMPA — Karim Moussaoui testified Tuesday that a man who said he saw him violate his student visa by shooting a rifle at a gun range last summer was mistaken.

"I'm sure he lied," Moussaoui, 28, said on the witness stand during his trial. "If he's not mistaken, then I'm sure he lied. Because his answer was not true."

Earlier in the day, Bobby Robinson testified that Moussaoui fired the weapon as Robinson approached a shooting stall next to him at the Shoot Straight gun range. He said he heard a distinct "pa-tat" sound from the Walter G22 rifle that Moussaoui held.

At the time, Moussaoui, a native of Morocco, was a student at the University of South Florida. He has since graduated.

Federal law prohibits people with student visas from possessing firearms. Authorities charged Moussaoui with a crime after finding a photograph of him posing with the rented rifle on Youssef Megahed's home computer. Megahed, 22, is awaiting trial on a federal explosives charge with co-defendant Ahmed Mohamed, 26. Both are suspended USF students.

Along with the photograph, investigators used gun range surveillance footage to show Moussaoui positioning the rifle on his shoulder and pointing it down-range on July 19.

Moussaoui said the weapon wasn't loaded. He said he insisted that Megahed empty any bullets before handing it to him to pose for a photo to commemorate his first time inside a gun shop.

"I wanted a souvenir," Moussaoui said. "Wherever I travel, I take pictures. A Kodak moment."

Moussaoui's former defense attorney once described the charge against him as a ploy to keep Moussaoui in the country to testify at the explosives trial. Moussaoui had plans to return to Morocco to work for his dad.

Megahed and Mohamed were arrested Aug. 4 after a South Carolina deputy stopped them for speeding, then found what experts classified as low-grade explosives in their trunk. The men have said they were traveling with homemade fireworks.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Monk attempted Tuesday to question Moussaoui about the South Carolina trip. Moussaoui said Megahed had invited him to go, but he declined. He had made plans to visit New York City during a school break.

Attorneys will make closing statements today.

Kevin Graham can be reached at or (813) 226-3433.

USF grad disputes testimony that he fired at gun range 04/01/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 2, 2008 4:57am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Candidates for governor get emotional talking about their gay siblings


    Occasionally in today's hyper-rehearsed and contrived world of political campaigns one witnesses moments that are so honest and real, we can't help but understand we're not just listening to another politician give his or her stump speech; We're listening to a human being who understands personal pain at least as well …

    Chris King talking to reporters in Tallahassee
  2. Southern heritage groups sue to keep Confederate monument at old Tampa courthouse

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Groups that say they support Southern heritage filed a lawsuit late Friday trying to halt the removal of a Confederate statue from downtown Tampa.

    Workers place boards around a Confederate monument on Hillsborough County property in Tampa on Thursday, August 17, 2017. It took 24 hours to raise private funds in order to move the statue from its current location.
  3. Bucs mull options at right tackle as Dotson awaits MRI


    Right tackle Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, three weeks before the season opener.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneer Demar Dotson, offensive tackle, brought his coffee and breakfast to One Buc Place, 7/31/15, as he reported to training camp.
  4. For starters: Rays vs. Mariners, with another new look


    Having lost 11 of their last 14 games and dropping to a season-worst four games under .500 at 60-64, the Rays continue to search for ways to get out of their extended offensive slump.

    And with the M's starting LHP Ariel Miranda today, that means another new look to the lineup, which includes having struggling …

  5. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often


    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.