ALBERTA

Abdi Hersi, Calgary Imam, Calls For Co-operation After Recent Deaths

01/04/2015 06:05 EST | Updated 03/06/2015 05:59 EST
Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press
CALGARY - A Calgary imam says he wants to see more done to stop young Somali-Canadians from being killed following the deaths two young men in the city during the first days of 2015.

Abdi Hersy says the most recent victim, who was found dead in an alley on January 2, came from a good family with close relations to his mosque.

He says the death is tragic, and has left the family so fearful they are afraid to hold the funeral or visitation in their home because it is close to the crime scene.

Police have not yet identified the man and are still investigating the case, as well as a New Year's party shooting that killed Abdullahi Ahmed, 26, and injured six other people.

Investigators say a number of people at the party identified themselves as members of the Somali community.

Hersy says close to 40 Somali young people have died violently in Alberta since 2007 and he wants to see more co-operation between the community and officials to reduce the number of youth getting involved with the wrong crowd.

Police have said they don't believe the two latest incidents are linked, but have said they don't believe either were random attacks.

Investigators said Friday they were facing challenges getting eyewitness information about the shooting at the party, despite the fact that there were between 50 and 60 people there at the time.

Police said they were reaching out to local leaders with the Somali community to encourage anyone with information to come forward.

They said they were still working to establish a motive for the shooting, as well as a suspect description.

(CFFR)