Kalim Saliba Cherrybrook home invasion leads to 86 year old Sydney, Australia orchard farmer being killed after being assaulted along with wife at the couple’s residence.
‘Gutless and cruel…’
Two burglars broke into the couple’s home in Sydney’s north west just before 12.30am on Wednesday before demanding money from the couple and assaulting them.
Police arrived at the Tallowwood Avenue property to find the occupants, Kalim Saliba, 86, and his wife, Shahida, 84, with serious head injuries.
Mr Saliba was taken to Westmead Hospital but died later on Wednesday morning.
His wife also suffered a fractured arm and is recovering in hospital.
A relative of the family said his death was ‘tragic beyond words’.
The couple own the family-run Saliba Fruits apple orchard in the Blue Mountains town of Bilpin.
‘He was a loving grandfather, a farmer for decades and to lose him like this is beyond comprehension,’ the relative told 10Daily.
‘He worked so hard all his life and was such a kind man that everyone respected and adored. We are very saddened by this news.’
Police believe the pair were purposefully targeted and that two men involved were armed. Cops have yet to establish a motive.
A neighbor on the quiet suburban street told The Daily Telegraph the death was a complete shock.
‘This has never happened in this suburb in the 22 years I’ve lived here,’ they said.
‘There’s no indication at this stage that this is a random attack,’
Acting Superintendent Anthony Boyd during a press conference said the couple had been awake and watching TV together when the burglars broke into their home.
He added early investigations indicated the husband was assaulted when he tried to defend his wife.
The wife alerted neighbors to the burglary, who then called the police.
‘To attack defenseless elderly people in their own home is a cowardly, gutless act,’ the official said.
‘There’s no indication at this stage that this is a random attack,’ he added.
Superintendent Boyd reiterated the two alleged attackers were still on the run.
Police have been told the armed men, who had their faces concealed, threatened the couple before assaulting them.
Of note, police said it wasn’t believed anything was taken from the home during the home invasion.
Detectives are investigating any grievances surrounding the couple’s family fruit business
Detectives have established a crime scene at the home and forensic crew were pictured at the home on Wednesday combing the scene for evidence.
An investigation into the incident is underway and police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.