The bodyguard of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud has been shot dead by a friend in the coastal city of Jeddah following an argument, police said according to state media.
Royal Guard Major General Abdul-Aziz Al-Faghm was a familiar figure in the kingdom and often seen in photos alongside King Salman at home and on official trips abroad.
Al-Faghm was visiting a friend in the city’s Shate’ district Saturday when he got into a dispute with another friend Mamdouh bin Meshaal bin Ali.
State media did not give details as to the nature of the argument but reported that Bin Ali left the house and, “returned with a gun and shot General Abdel-Aziz Al-Faghm,” according to police.
The bodyguard was killed and two other people, including the owner of the house, were injured.
When police arrived at the scene Bin Ali “started shooting and refused to surrender,” police said. He was killed in the ensuing shootout.
On Sunday, Al-Faghm’s funeral was held in the holy city of Mecca while an investigation into the incident continues.
According to Arab News, Al-Faghm had served the Saudi royal family for 15 years, as part of an entourage for the late King Abdullah and then as the personal bodyguard to King Salman.
His death has shocked the kingdom and prompted an outpouring of tributes on social media. The Saudi paper Okaz referred to Al-Faghm in a headline as the “Keeper of Kings.”