"Oh, dear, that's awkward," Ushna said. "What's up with your parents, anyway?"

"My dad is a manipulative asshole," Noor replied. "I've honestly never met anyone...so evil."

Amal Khalaf watched as Faleh took a number at the counter and then sat near her and Noor.

Noor's brother Ali blamed his father's attack on "different cultures, different values."
courtesy KPHO Channel 5
Noor's brother Ali blamed his father's attack on "different cultures, different values."
The parking lot at the Arizona Department of Economic Security, where Falah Almaleki ran over his daughter and Amal Khalaf.
Michael Ratcliff
The parking lot at the Arizona Department of Economic Security, where Falah Almaleki ran over his daughter and Amal Khalaf.

Faleh was on his own cell phone around the time that his daughter was texting. He spent five minutes speaking with his oldest son, Ali, eighteen months younger than Noor.

Faleh also spoke with a male relative in Detroit, Michigan, and several times with his wife, Seham, who was working as a translator at a U.S. military base in California.

Minutes after he arrived, Faleh left the DES office without comment.

At 1:32 p.m. Noor sent a final text to Ushna in which she seemed more relaxed.

"What time do you get out of work?" Noor asked her friend. "Are you going to have time [to meet]?"

Amal's number finally got called, and she and Noor stepped up to a counter to take care of business. That took several minutes.

Amal had parked her van near the front door, in a crowded lot the DES shares with a popular Mexican restaurant about 100 yards west.

But Amal remained wary of Faleh. She knew how angry he was with her for allowing his daughter to move into her home.

Their families once had been friendly, in Iraq and then in the States. Amal Khalaf had baby-sat the Almalekis' young children when Seham was working.

But any good feelings evaporated after Noor moved in with Marwan and Amal.

Amal wanted to scope out the parking lot for Faleh and his 2000 silver-gray Jeep Cherokee before leaving the DES office with Noor.

Noor didn't seem as worried.

She said her dad might spit on her if he had the chance — nothing more.

The coast looked clear, so they headed for Amal's van. But Amal soon discovered that she had locked her keys inside the vehicle.

She and Noor retreated to the DES office to regroup. Amal called her son and asked him to bring by a spare key from home, about twenty minutes away.

It was a sunny, 85-degree day, and Amal wanted to wait just outside the front door of the DES office.

But Noor was thirsty. She suggested they go to the nearby Mexican restaurant for a cold drink. The pair walked west along the sidewalk next to the office and started across the lot.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Amal saw a vehicle coming right at them. She lifted her hands in defense, as if to stop the inevitable.

In that moment, she could see Faleh Almaleki behind the wheel.

The Jeep smashed into the women.

It dragged Noor across a curbed median and left her splayed on the pavement, unconscious and bleeding.

The impact hurled Amal Khalaf about 27 feet. She suffered a broken pelvis, broken femur and myriad cuts and bruises, but she remained conscious.

Police later estimated that the SUV was moving as fast as 30 miles per hour.

Faleh sped out of the parking lot.

Noor was barely alive, having suffered massive brain and spinal injuries, as well as innumerable broken bones.

Amal quickly provided police with a motive. She said the Almalekis were furious with both her and Noor for the current living arrangement.

Amal explained that Faleh had been hell-bent on showing her and his daughter who was boss, who was in control.

Within minutes of Faleh's fleeing the bloody scene, he spoke by cell phone to his wife, to their son Ali and to at least two other members of his extended family.

Cell-tower records show that he called his cousin, Jamil Almaleki, less than an hour after the assaults, about half a mile from Jamil's Phoenix home.

It's uncertain whether Faleh stopped there on his way out of town, to get the clothes and money he was later captured with.

Another possibility is that Faleh packed the clothes and money, days' worth of insulin to treat his diabetes and his U.S. passport (he had recently become a naturalized citizen) before driving to the DES office — which would indicate a planned attack.

Whether Faleh assaulted the women on the spur of the moment or premeditated his action, he had time to reflect on what he would do after encountering Noor and Amal in the DES office: run over two defenseless women, one of whom was his first-born child.

Three police detectives from the Phoenix suburb of Peoria went to the Almaleki residence at 5 p.m. on October 20, about three hours after the assaults.

Noor's brother, Ali, opened the front door. He was in a tough spot.

Ali once had been close to his sister.

His written praise accompanies a photo of the siblings in Noor's senior high school yearbook:

"I admire that my sister is always there for me. I'm always able to talk to her no matter what. She'll always be there for me to listen to and give me a shoulder to lean on."

But the feud between Noor and their parents had taken its toll, and the siblings hadn't spoken in weeks. (Ali later told friends in an e-mail that he had taken to calling his sister vile names before they stopped speaking.)

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