FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Last Wednesday, police found two young men and a teenager shot and killed on East Lewis Street. Since then, the news of the triple homicide has spread across the country, and even the globe.
There are articles about the crime on just about every national media outlet. Now, student groups from several states and even Canada are hosting events to honor the three lives of 23-year-old Mohamedtaha Omar, 20-year-old Adam Mekki, and 17-year-old Muhannad Tairab. Two of the three victims are Muslim, but police remain adamant this is absolutely not a hate crime.
The news quickly spread on Twitter, with the #OurThreeBrothers and #OurThreeBoys trending. That’s how student organizations across the country said they first found out about the homicides. From Purdue to Pennsylvania, events to honor the victims are popping up all over. Saida Mahamud with the Young Muslim Collective helped organize the remembrance rally at University of Minnesota Monday night.
“Someone came up with the idea of why hasn’t there been some type of remembrance event for the three boys that were killed. Within like less than 48 hours, we just all started reaching out, making flyers, connecting to other community members, getting speakers over the weekend,” Mahamud said. “It hit home for a lot of us. It was just something very personal, being black and Muslim, that you know, God forbid, it could’ve been one of us that would’ve been a trending hashtag.”
Around 250 people came together outside the student center for the rally. While organizers understand the homicides aren’t considered hate crimes, they still wanted to recognize the tragedy of their deaths.
“Regardless, I think we wanted to just mourn their lives because people were jumping to conclusions already,” Mahamud said.
The rallies aren’t just reserved for the United States. Four memorials are scheduled between Tuesday and Wednesday just in Toronto, Canada alone. One organizer wanted to stay anonymous, but expected at least 20 to 30 people at Tuesday night’s event at Ryerson University. That groups hosting it first saw the story on CNN. They also know it’s not a hate crime, but said this event is to address the broader issue of violence and senseless deaths.
“We need to take a stand for these families and say that this is not ok, that there are no answers for three people who were killed execution style,” the organizer said. “Whether or not this is an instance of it, this just comes to show you people are out there that are filled with hate and filled with bad intent for people.”