The man accused of fatally hitting a teenager with his car last week in Kansas City had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, committed to a Minneapolis hospital for treatment and sometimes stopped taking his medications, according to court records and his family in Minnesota.
Ahmed H. Aden, 34, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 15-year-old Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein, whose legs were nearly severed when an SUV hit him last Thursday. Aden initially said he lost control of the vehicle but later said he thought the teen was someone who had threatened him, investigators said.
The FBI is investigating the crash as a possible hate crime. The reasons for that haven’t been disclosed, but the teen was Muslim and Aden’s vehicle had anti-Muslim statements written on a window. However, Aden’s mother, Hawo Abdullahi of Minneapolis, said her son also was Muslim and, like the victim, was Somali.
“How can my son do a hate crime when he’s not mentally thinking straight?” Abdullahi told The Associated Press through an interpreter Monday, the same day her son appeared in court in Missouri.
She expressed condolences to Sheikh-Hussein’s family, saying she wished she could have helped her son.
“All I can say to you is I tried (to help) my son, I tried a couple of times to get him admitted to the hospital because he was mentally sick. But I wasn’t there. If I were there, this would not have happened,” she said. “I would get him into the hospital.”
His mother and his sister, Fowsiya Aden, said Aden came to the U.S. in 2000. He worked several jobs in Minnesota but started quitting them about four years ago. He also began talking fast and showing a temper, but his family didn’t initially know what was wrong, they said. They said he was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2012.
In January 2011, Aden was banned from the Social Security Administration building in Minneapolis after making threats and drawing pictures of weapons on his Social Security application, according to Minnesota court documents.
But he kept returning to the building and at one point lit a fire in the grass and threatened to burn down the building. That incident initiated the commitment process in the courts, documents show.
He was hospitalized after shouting “peace and justice” inside another building where he believed God had sent him, according to Minnesota court documents.
The court ordered Aden to receive medication because he repeatedly said he wasn’t ill and he wasn’t taking medication on his own, court documents show. His mother and sister said that he did well on medication but that he moved to Kansas City without their knowledge about a year and a half ago.
Abdullahi, Aden’s mother, said she believes Aden stopped taking his medication before Thursday’s accident. She said he may have reacted angrily after he was misunderstood and ostracized by others who didn’t know he was struggling.