Published On: Tue, Feb 28th, 2017

Nephew of slain Somali cab driver remembers him as kind family man

When Shehe Muya heard last week that his uncle had been severely beaten, he left his home in Tucson, Ariz., and started a 30-hour drive to Pittsburgh.

He just wanted to see his uncle’s face — to spend some time with the man he last saw in a camp in Kenya.

“I didn’t make it,” Mr. Muya said Monday.

About two-thirds of the way here, when he still had 10 hours left to go, he received a call saying his uncle, cab driver Ramadhan Mohamed, had died.

When Mr. Muya arrived, he was still shocked. When he saw Mr. Mohamed’s body, “I didn’t even know that was him. I was confused. That’s not the person I know.”

Now, Mr. Muya, 28, and his relatives are relieved that police have arrested all four suspects in Mr. Mohamed’s death but fearful that they could be the targets of other crimes.

Mr. Mohamed, a Somali native and a member of the Bantu ethnic minority there, came to the United States in 2005, his family said. He lived in various parts of the country, often teaching the Quran wherever he went.

He had recently come to Pittsburgh, family said, and had been working as a cab driver for just two weeks, one of which he spent in training. His pregnant wife, Khadija Mohamed, and 2-year-old son remained in Kenya, and he had been sending them money.

Mr. Mohamed, relatives said, was a kind man and an innocent victim.

“This shouldn’t happen again. We just came here for freedom and not killing,” Mr. Muya said. “We came here to survive with our kids, do our job, survive … but I guess we’re not surviving anymore.”

Mr. Muya and other relatives, who gathered briefly in Shadyside on Monday afternoon, thanked Pittsburgh police for making quick arrests in the case.

Two suspects — King Edwards and Hosea Moore, both 20, of Beltzhoover — were arrested last week. Another two — Christen Glenn, 18, no address listed, and Daniel Russell, 19, of Arlington Heights — were arrested late Sunday in Youngstown, Ohio.

Youngstown police Capt. Rod Foley said police received a tip that the two might be at a house on Youngstown’s north side. Police surrounded the house shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday, and Mr. Russell surrendered, followed shortly by Mr. Glenn.

Capt. Foley said authorities found five marijuana blunts hidden inside Mr. Glenn’s body after police took him to the Mahoning County Jail, and he faces a charge for that. The captain said Mr. Russell was also wanted — for failing to appear for a traffic case at Youngstown Municipal Court. Officials anticipate bringing both men back to Pittsburgh to face charges in the beating of Mr. Mohamed.

All four suspects face charges of attempted homicide, robbery and conspiracy. Homicide charges could be added later.

Pittsburgh police wrote in arrest paperwork that the four men were planning to rob a pizza delivery driver. When they learned the pizza shop was closed, Mr. Russell “decided to call a cab and rob it,” according to a criminal complaint.

A witness told police the four men left a home for five to seven minutes, and when they returned Mr. Russell was “telling everyone how he beat … the victim and bragging about how bad he beat the victim.” They left later to move his cab and his body, officials said.

After they returned to the home, Mr. Russell “said that the victim was still alive so he kicked him in the face and neck in an attempt to kill him,” according to the complaint.

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