Whatever the motivation, the killing of a 15 year-old Somali boy outside of a mosque in northeast Kansas City Thursday is appalling.
Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein, a sophomore at Staley High School in the North Kansas City School District, was struck by an SUV as he was getting into a car that was parked alongside the curb at Admiral Boulevard and Lydia Avenue. The teenager, who also used the names Abdi and Adam, died at a hospital.
Witnesses said the driver of the SUV intentionally barreled the vehicle into the car being used by Abdisamad and several other persons. Police got to the scene quickly and apprehended Ahmed H. Aden, 34. Prosecutors on Friday charged Aden with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.
The killing is being investigated by both Kansas City police and the FBI, because of suggestions that the driver may have targeted the car outside of a mosque in order to kill Muslims. People in the Somali community said Aden was a Somali-born Christian. The Kansas Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a news release saying that the vehicle involved in the boy’s death had been spotted with an anti-Islamic message written on a rear window.
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People who were in the area just before and after Abdisamad was run down said a man fitting Aden’s description was brandishing a machete and a handgun. Court documents said Aden talked about unknown people trying to kill him when he was questioned by police.
Whatever possessed the driver, he took the life of a beloved and promising youth. Abdisamad was described as a resource to the Somali community, helping to care for children, deliver food to the needy and teach English to adults.
Most Somalis in Kansas City came here as refugees to escape violence in their homeland. It is beyond cruel that an apparent act of senseless violence has claimed one of their children here.