News emerged early Friday of three young Muslim men brutally killed in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The bodies of Mohamedtaha Omar, 23, Adam Mekki, 20, and Muhannad Tairab, 17, were found on Wednesday in an abandoned home, known locally as a hangout spot for young adults. Police officers were responding to “unknown problem” when they found the bodies.
Investigators described the triple homicides as execution-style murders, demonstrating the extent of its brutality. According to WANE TV, Fort Wayne Police Chief Garry Hamilton suggested the crime must have happened within an hour time frame with possibly more than one perpetrator given the number of victims.
Fort Wayne’s Public Safety Director, Rusty York, told WANE TV that motives for the crime are still unclear and that authorities “have no reason to believe this is any type of hate crime or focus because of their religion or nationality.” York also stressed that the victims have no gang ties.
Mustafa Kedio, father of Mohamedtaha, told MuslimMatters, “Right now I can’t say it’s a hate crime,” adding, “The Fort Wayne Police Sheriff reported that it wasn’t in anyway related to any gang activity.”
The three victims are of East African descent. Two of them, Omar and Tairab, were laid to rest three days after their bodies were found. Abdelazziz Hassab, a relative of the two, told WANE TV at the funeral, “We all came here to find peace and security. We’re from the war zones, but the destiny waiting for us is real crazy.”
Mahdi Nouk, President of Zaghawa People’s Association of USA, a non-profit organization that celebrates East African cultures, told WANE TV,
“We come over here like we think safety and better future for our kids and these three young kids shot and killed inside the home.”
Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t until two days after the homicide surfaced that some mainstream media outlets covered the crime, illustrating the common indifference corporate media has for the deaths of people of color. AlJazeera wrote that other US mass shootings gained media interest, while this triple homicide received little media attention because police say religion was not the cause.
CNN ran the headline, “3 young men killed ‘execution-style’ in abandoned home in Indiana,” refusing to acknowledge their Muslim identity, which would’ve been a major factor had the victims been suspects.
Their deaths shocked the larger Muslim community, giving birth to the hashtag #OurThreeBrothers, reminiscent to the hashtag #OurThreeWinners, which emerged after the brutal death of three North Carolina Muslims last year.