Son, 15, of religious center’s leader dies after SUV driver ‘intentionally hit him for being Muslim’ then tried to flee on foot with a machete
- The teenager was climbing into a car outside the Somali Center of Kansas City – which his father heads – on Thursday afternoon when he was hit
- The driver’s car was disabled in the crash so the man fled on foot carrying a machete but was stopped by police and arrested
- Members of the community say a man had been threatening them online for months and had pulled a gun on a group ‘for being Muslim’
- The boy’s legs were severed in the crash and he was declared brain dead; his family took him off life support on Thursday night
The 15-year-old son of the leader of a Somali center in Missouri has died after he was intentionally plowed down by an SUV driver on Thursday afternoon.
The driver, a man in his 30s, smashed into two boys as they climbed into a car outside the Somali Center of Kansas City at 5.30pm, severing the teenager’s legs.
The man then tried to drive off, but his vehicle was disabled by the crash so he fled on foot – with witnesses saying they saw him carrying a machete – but he was caught by police and arrested.
His identity has not been released, but community members told Fox4 that he had been threatening them on Facebook for months and pulled a gun on a group last month ‘because of their Muslim religion’.
‘A month or two ago he came to the Somali mall, two blocks from here. Things got bad, they started arguing and he pulled a gun,’ said Abdul Mohamed, who knows the victim.
The boy’s legs were severed in the crash and he was rushed to Children’s Mercy Hospital. Police said he lost a lot of blood.
His family told Fox4 that the boy, who has not been identified, was brain dead and they decided to take him off life support on Thursday night.
Another boy sustained non-life threatening injuries in the crash. There were also two children inside the targeted vehicle but they were unharmed.
Sergeant Bill Mahoney told local news outlets that authorities believe the man intentionally targeted the group, in part because he was found with a machete and other weapons.
‘It became pretty clear that this was not an accidental crash, there is a considerable amount of evidence that leads us to believe it was intentional,’ he said.
Scene: The crash unfolded outside the Somali Center, pictured, which the boy’s father heads. Community members said that the driver had previously pulled a gun on people there for being Muslim
People at the scene told Fox that the boy was the son of the Somali Center’s leader.
Before news of the child’s death, one woman, Khadra Dirr, said he was her nephew – ‘a smart kid… a straight up A student’.
‘Our family is very destroyed at what happened,’ she said. ‘He’s a sweet, loving kid. He doesn’t deserve this. I’m pretty sure it’s a hate crime from things I’ve been hearing. I hope that someone brings him to justice.’