A Kansas City Muslim group and a Kansas group with ties to a national organization called Friday for a federal investigation following the death of a 15-year-old boy after, police said, he was deliberately struck by the driver of an SUV outside a mosque in midtown Kansas City.
The victim’s legs were nearly severed in the incident Thursday and he was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital where he died, a dispatcher confirmed.
The incident happened about 5:30 p.m. at Admiral Boulevard and Lydia Avenue.
The Kansas City Muslim Community is “deeply shocked” at the hit-and-run outside the Somali Center of Kansas City, according to a press release from Zulfiqar Malik, a board member with the Heartland Muslim Council.
“We ask federal law enforcement to investigate this attack as a possible hate crime,” Malik said in the release.
In another release, the Kansas Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations cited Somali Center officials as saying a man had been threatening Muslims in Kansas City for months. It also said the vehicle involved in the boy’s death was seen months before bearing anti-Islamic message written on a rear window.
“We urge federal authorities to get involved in this case in order to send the message that our nation’s leaders will not allow American Muslims to be targeted because of their faith,” CAIR-Kansas Chairman Moussa Elbayoumy said in a news release on Friday.
The victim and another person were getting into a parked car when the driver of a Chevrolet SUV, eastbound on Admiral, sideswiped them. Witnesses said the vehicle crossed the center line and appeared to target the pedestrians on the north side of the street.
“This was intentional,” said police Sgt. Bill Mahoney.
The victim was thrown by the impact.
The SUV was disabled by the crash. The driver, described as in his mid-30s, was alone in the vehicle. He fled on foot but was quickly arrested. Police said he had a machete and other weapons.
The Heartland Muslim Council commended police for arresting the suspect so quickly.
“We hope the suspect will be charged and brought to full justice,” the press release said.
Police on Thursday declined to speculate on a motive and were interviewing witnesses. The incident is being investigated by the assault squad, Mahoney said.
Robert A. Cronkleton contributed to this report.
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