The FBI announced Friday it was investigating a fatal hit-and-run in Kansas City that killed a 15-year-old Muslim Somali boy who was leaving the Somali Center of Kansas City.
“We’re working jointly with the Kansas City Police Department,” said FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton, “but we have opened this as a civil rights investigation into a potential hate crimes violation.”
The boy and a friend were getting into a parked car when the a Chevrolet SUV sideswiped them. Witnesses said the vehicle crossed the center line and appeared to target the pedestrians.
The victim’s legs were nearly severed and he was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital where he died. The driver fled on foot but was quickly arrested. Police said he had a machete and other weapons.
The Kansas City Muslim Community is “deeply shocked,”according to a press release from Zulfiqar Malik, a board member with the Heartland Muslim Council.
Khadra Dirir, the victim's aunt, told TV station WDAF that the family was "destroyed" by what happened.
"He's a sweet, loving kid," Khadra Dirir said. "He doesn't deserve this."