Columbus, Ohio

Services held at mosque for teen student murdered in drive-by shooting

BLACKLICK, Ohio — The Waggoner Grove subdivision was quieter Tuesday evening than it was 24 hours after a 15-year-old was gunned down in his neighbor’s driveway. That’s because neighbors, friends, and family were attending the service for Mohamed Abdulkadir at a mosque on Mock Road at 5 p.m.

The boy’s nickname was “Honey Bun” and friends remember him as a good kid who liked to be around family and play games.

One hundred yards from the crime scene where Abdulkadir’s body lay dead underneath a sheet Monday is a church where the teen used to go to play basketball.

Pastors at Eastpointe Christian Church remember seeing Abdulkair on the court with his friends. “He was fun. A decent ball player and very respectful,” said family pastor Andre Norman. “We want to be a light to this community. We know that God has called us not only to this community but make disciples of all nations.”

The neighborhood has a lot of children. Many of the families in the area are refugees from Somalia. Abdi Farah knew the victim and said he was a fun loving kid who wasn’t supposed to die that day. “For sure I want to see an arrest. Whoever did this needs to pay for it,” said Farah.

The homeowner who lives in the house where the drive-by happened on Churchside Chase Drive said she is afraid for her six children. She said her 17-year-old son had been suspended earlier in the day after a fight at the school. Two other boys were also suspended she said for ten days. “It was a fight,” said Farah. “I don’t know why people bring guns to fights.”

Pastor Dan Stoffer said their church wants to be a bridge to the Somali community who may be feeling isolated and afraid. “We want to do whatever we can to help in the midst of this tragedy, to love on the family, take care of the kids, just kind of be that center of hope and love for our community,” said Stoffer.

The district issued a written statement from Supt. Philip Wagner:

It has been a difficult day for the school district as we are working together to ensure our students and staff are supported during this time. Our hearts especially go out to the family impacted by this tragedy.

Today and for the next few days, we will have additional counselors and teachers available at all school buildings for students and staff who are grieving. Additionally, we will continue to work to find ways for students to feel safe and supported at school. We want all to know that our first priority is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all students to learn.

As with all tragedies, we could use your help. If you have any information about the events surrounding yesterday afternoon or any issues that have developed due to the events, please report them to the confidential tipline, Safer Ohio at (844) 723-3764. We have been working with the Columbus Police department to share information that assists with their investigation.

Finally, all Licking Heights events scheduled for Tuesday, September 19, 2017 for all schools will remain as scheduled. While this is a difficult time for our school district, we feel the reinforcement of a sense of normalcy is beneficial for our students. Furthermore, there will be an increased staff and security presence at school events as a means of support for all of our attendees.

Philip H. Wagner, Ph.D.

So far police aren’t talking about any suspects or motive in the case. This is the 95th Homicide of 2017 in Columbus.

The family has started a Go Fund Me account for burial expenses.

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