Brother of victim reacts to possible link between shootings of Muslim men

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — On Thursday, Sharief Ahmadi Hadi was running his Albuquerque shop as usual when KOB 4 told him the new information investigators had just released regarding his brother’s death.

In a news conference, Albuquerque police said the shooting deaths of three Muslim men in the city may be connected. They’re investigating whether the same suspect may have carried out all three ambush attacks and may have targeted the victims because of their faith.

“Muslim people are not bad people,” Sharief said.

He owns Ariana Halal Market & Caffe at San Mateo and Mountain. His brother, Mohammad Zahir Ahmadi, 50, was shot and killed just outside his shop on Nov. 7, 2021.

Sharief said his brother was a wonderful person, and that it’s difficult to understand why he was murdered.

“It’s very hard for me, very hard for me. Why are they shooting Muslims?” he said. “Of course I’m angry, not just because it’s my brother. Why did they kill a human being?”

Sharief believes any violence or hate goes against the true Muslim faith.

He said before coming to the U.S. in 1981, he faced persecution in his home country of Afghanistan, and now he feels nowhere is safe.

“Nowhere is there peace,” Sharief said.

He said that night of the murder, his brother, who went by Zahir, had stepped outside the shop to smoke a cigarette when the gunman ran up to him without warning.

Sharief believes his brother never saw the attack coming, and said Zahir was shot in the back of the head. He based that on what he saw the next day, when he said he had to clean his brother’s blood off his own sidewalk.

He said nothing inside his shop was touched, which leads him to believe it was not a robbery.

“Why did they do this? He isn’t against nobody,” he said.

Since his brother’s death, Sharief now locks up his shop at all times, unlocking it only to let someone in.

“What kind of superpower are we? We want to control the world, but we can’t control this city?” he said.

Sharief said he thinks about his brother every minute and hopes this violence can stop.