Mohammad Anwar, 66, was a Pakistani immigrant who had been in the U.S. for seven or eight years. When his limousine business slowed during the pandemic, he started delivering food.
Anwar died on March 23 after the teens used a Taser on him and he was thrown from his vehicle during an attempted carjacking, police previously said.
“It is outrageous that someone could kill and get away with it like that,” Anwar’s friend, Goher Khan, said.
Khan, a fellow Pakistani immigrant who lives in Virginia, said there were too many people standing around watching and not doing anything to help.
“Someone should have helped,” Khan said. “I think too much of that is going on in America today.”
The suspects – who officials haven’t publicly named because of their ages – were charged with murder and armed carjacking. However, both teens are expected to enter a plea deal when they return to court later this month.
Khan said the incident “would not have happened” if the girls had been in school.
“It’s almost down to zero if they were in school, you know,” he said.
Carjackings in the nation’s capital are up more than 300% this year. Murder is up 34% so far this year, according to the Washington Post. Last year ended with a 16-year high in killings.
D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department said many carjackings are carried out by juveniles.
“We have noticed that a large number of these crimes are committed by young teenagers (13-16-year-olds) and the vehicles are often used to commit other crimes such as robberies and shootings,” a department spokesperson told Fox News. “With the prevalence of more delivery drivers on the road due to the pandemic, this provides more opportunities for them to become victims of carjackings.”
For Khan – mourning the loss of his friend – he thinks the killing of innocent victims like Anwar is largely being ignored across the country, as crime rates spike in major cities during the pandemic.
“Muslim, just as well as any other life, matters,” he said. “And yeah, there is, you know, some underlying things that do not make the headlines. And probably Muslim lives is one of them.”
Khan said Anwar “was one of those who believed in hard work. And I respect that. And he did not deserve to die the way he did.”
He added that he would tell his friend this message: “Your life matters just as any other life. All lives are precious.”
A GoFundMe page established in Anwar’s honor has raised more than $1 million.
“We will fight for the rest of us and tell our story that we are here, first generation, second generation, and we work hard just as any other race,” Khan said. “We we deserve to be on equal footing.”