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A Year Later, Family Still Searching For Justice
Fathiya Kahin, mother of Mohamad Mohamad
Hassan Mohamed, brother of Mohamad Mohamad
BY MARA H. GOTTFRIED
St. Paul , Fri, Aug. 25, 2006 – Today will be the 365th day that Fathiya Kahin cries for her slain 19-year-old son.
Kahin mourns Mohamed M. Mohamed as a mother would any dead child, but she remains especially torn because his homicide in St. Paul is unsolved.
"I'm begging, please bring whoever did this to my son to justice," Kahin said.
The case continues to stump police, who are issuing a new plea for anyone with information to come forward.
"I believe someone out there knows what happened to Mohamed," said St. Paul police Sgt. Anita Muldoon, who is handling the investigation. "The family is very forgiving. They just want to know."
Mohamed was shot Aug. 25, 2005, about 11:15 p.m. as he sat in a car with a friend at the BP gas station at Interstate 94 and Lexington Parkway. He was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul and pronounced dead.
Police continue to follow leads but said the case is especially difficult to solve because they don't believe Mohamed was targeted for the killing. It could have been a case of mistaken identity or a random shooting, Muldoon said.
"He had no criminal record, no gang involvement and no enemies we can identify," she said.
Mohamed was a Harding High School graduate who had recently found a full-time job and planned to start college last fall to become a radiologist. He and his family fled war-torn Somalia and came to the United States in 1999 for such opportunities.
Hassan Mohamed, who was older than his brother by a year and a day, said the two of them were like twins. The siblings had been hanging out the day of the shooting but parted ways about an hour before.
Mohamed and his friends picked up food in Minneapolis and were heading back to a friend's home to watch a movie when they stopped at the gas station to pick up sodas, Hassan Mohamed said.
One friend went inside, and Mohamed and another friend stayed in the car. They were watching a movie in the car, which had tinted windows, and the volume was turned up loud. Suddenly, Mohamed said to his friend, "Something got into me," Hassan Mohamed said.
A bullet had penetrated the vehicle and pierced Mohamed's upper chest, police said. Police don't know exactly where the shot came from, but it seems to have originated from an alley behind the gas station, Muldoon said.
Mohamed's mother went to City Hall in November to appeal to then-mayor Randy Kelly to meet with her and family members about the police investigation of the slaying. She said she and her family had been kept in the dark about the case.
The situation has improved since then, family members said, but they still wish the police could do more.
Muldoon said cultural differences have created some communication barriers with the family, though police are doing their best to work with them.
Hassan Mohamed visits his brother's grave every week. His mother, Kahin, said she can't face going. She already cries every day and it pains her to see reminders of him, which is why she keeps the door to his room closed.
Marwa Mohamed, Mohamed Mohamed's 13-year-old sister, said losing her brother was like "my life was over."
"We're still in shock. There's no closure," said another sister, Sahra Elmi. "We're still wishing someone would show up and tell us who did this. We're telling the killer, please be honest. We know you didn't mean to kill Mohamed."
Mara H. Gottfried covers St. Paul public safety. She can be reached at 651-228-5262 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Pioneer Press