UPDATE: Police seek help in finding suspect in KC murder of 2 boys after Ramadan service
A few men gathered in the otherwise quiet parking lot of the Somali Center in Kansas City mid-morning. They remembered how the night before two boys prayed in the red brick building and then returned home.
The teenagers were fatally shot Friday night after returning from the Ramadan service, police said.
They were identified as Abdulwahid, 16, and Abdirahman Abdulaziz, 14. The family said they were the younger brothers of the suspect, Hanad A. Abdiaziz, 25.
The men gathered on Saturday morning recalled how the boys played in the parking lot. They were active members of their faith community, often leading prayers, they added.
Mosque member and family friend Abdurahman Abu, 18, told The Star that boys always smile and brighten other people’s days.
“They were leaders in their community at a very young age,” Abu said.
The boys loved going to the mosque and reading the Quran, as well as playing basketball with their friends, he said.
“These deaths are devastating and will always have a lasting effect on the local community,” Abu said. “This incident really shook us all.”
Police were called around 11:30 p.m. Friday to the East 8th and Olive Street neighborhood over a shooting, Capt.Dave Jackson, a spokesman for the Kansas City Police Department, said in an email.
There, police found two young victims with gunshot wounds just outside an apartment.
Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene, Jackson said. No suspect has been taken into custody.
He said police believed, after an initial investigation, that a “domestic situation” involving a family member led to the shooting.
“Our young people – and everyone else – should be safe when going back and forth to church services. Sad to learn of the murder of two teenagers returning home after Ramadan services tonight in the northeast, ”Mayor Quinton Lucas wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
The police department wrote on Twitter on Saturday afternoon that members of the mosque stopped at the crime scene on Friday evening to mourn the boys.
“Officers and detectives at the scene heard story after story about these promising young men who were leaders both in their community and at their mosque,” the department wrote. “It has become clear that Kansas City has lost two rising stars, and we will do everything we can to get justice for them.”
The murders mark the 51st and 52nd homicides in Kansas City this year. Kansas City finished last year with 182 homicides, the most in city history in a single year, according to data maintained by The Star.
Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact homicide detectives at 816-234-5043 or the anonymous TIPS hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477). There is a reward of up to $ 25,000 for information about the murder.
Gun violence will be the subject of a new statewide journalism project that The Star is undertaking this year in Missouri in partnership with the national service program Report for America and sponsored in part by the Missouri Foundation. for Health. As part of this project, The Star will be enlisting the help of the community.
To contribute, visit Report for America online at reportforamerica.org.