Death of Uber Eats driver Mohammad Anwar in carjacking has left ‘gaping hole’ as GoFundMe raises $740,000
THE family of an UberEats driver who was killed while being carjacked by two teenage girls say his death has left a "gaping hole" in their lives as a GoFundMe set up to pay for his funeral has surpassed $740,000.
Mohammed Anwar, a 66-year-old father-of-three, died after being thrown from his Honda Accord during a violent suspected robbery in Washington, DC on Tuesday.
The shocking incident unfolded in the 1200 block of Van Street SE near the Nationals Park.
A graphic clip shared on social media shows Anwar struggling to regain control of his vehicle after two girls, 13 and 15, forced their way into the car.
The video shows Anwar clinging on to the side of the vehicle as it drives away at speed, before crashing into a metal fence – crushing him between the barrier and the car door.
He suffered profound injuries and was pronounced dead in hospital just hours later.
In a GoFundMe set up to help Anwar's wife and children cover the cost of his funeral expenses, family members wrote of the "gaping hole" his death has left in their lives.
Set up with an initial target of $100,000, the fundraiser has since amassed a staggering $742,000 from more than 20,900 individual donations.
In an update published on Friday, the family wrote: "Thank you to everyone that has shared their stories, offered condolences, added our family into their prayers, and were able to donate. Whether it was $1 or $100, we are so grateful that you were able, and willing, to donate to our family during this terrible time.
"This money will help with providing Uncle Anwar with a proper Islamic burial, loss of wages for the family, and pain and suffering.
"Although money won’t fill the gaping hole that his death has left in our family, it will help remove some of the stress and worry of daily living while we grieve and heal."
The post, penned by Lehra Bogino, who identified herself as Anwar's niece, added that the entire family is "overwhelmed by the kindness and support everyone has shown".
An earlier post to the page remembered Anwar as a "beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend who always provided a smile when you needed one."
A "hard-working" Pakistani immigrant, Bogino said he came to the United States simply to create a better life for him and his family, only for it to be taken away in "an appalling act of violence."
"Words can not describe how our family is feeling currently. Devastation, confusion, shock, anger, heartache, and anguish are just a few that come to mind," the post reads.
"We will carry him with us always, but it doesn’t take the pain away of losing him so tragically and so unexpectedly soon."
Neither of the teen girls purported to be involved in Anwar's death has been named by authorities, because of their age.
The 13-year-old suspect is said to be from Southeast DC and the 15-year-old is of Fort Washington, Maryland.
A graphic 90-second video published to social media showed the deadly incident unfolding, with Anwar, stood on the driver's side, wrestling to regain control of the steering wheel.
He can be heard yelling “they're thieves” and “this is my car!' as he tries to pull one of the girls out of the driver's seat.
However, the girl suddenly accelerates, sending the car speeding down the 1200 block of Van Street SE with Anwar still clinging on.
Horrifyingly, the car can then be seen smashing into a metal fence from its left side — crushing the delivery driver between the barrier and car door.
As the car continues to speed off into the distance, a screeching sound can be heard followed by a loud crash noise.
The bystander filming the incident rushes to the site of the crash to find the car rolled over onto its side and the two girls climbing out of the wreck.
Anwar, meanwhile, is seen lying motionless on the sidewalk as witnesses race to his aide.
Two National Guardsmen who were in the area removed the juvenile suspects from the overturned car.
They temporarily detained the girls until police arrived and arrested them.
Anwar was taken to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries and was pronounced dead soon after.
The teen assailants have since been charged with felony murder and carjacking charges.
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) said the girls assaulted Anwar with a stun gun before attempting to steal his car.
In a call to action last week, the American Pakistani Public Affairs Committee urged MPD to investigate the incident as a hate crime.
"The American Pakistani Public Affairs Committee expresses our deepest condolences and prayers to the family of Mohammad Anwar, a Pakistani American from Springfield, Virginia who was brutally attacked and killed.
"This unspeakable act is another tragic example of the hatred and violence that Muslim Americans regularly endure. We demand authorities investigate this incident as a hate crime and prosecute the alleged assailants to the fullest extent of the law."
The organization continued: "As our nation reckons with rising incidents of hate and violence directed toward minority communities, APPAC stands in solidarity with all who fall victim to the senseless consequences of Islamophobia, racism, xenophobia, religious prejudice and oppression.”
While MPD has not yet issued a response to the request, the department said Anwar's death is part of a wider, disturbing trend currently plaguing DC.
Four teenage boys have since been arrested in the city for armed carjackings in the days since Anwar's death.
On Saturday, two 13-year-old boys were busted for two back-to-back armed carjackings.
During the first incident, one of the teens is said to have pulled a handgun and demanded the victim get out of the car.
They eventually fled the vehicle before allegedly pulling the move again just over an hour late in the Northwest section of the city.
And on Thursday, two different boys, 13 and 14, were also detained for armed carjacking, MPD said.
In that instance, one of the thieves opened a car door and assaulted a victim, while another pulled a knife.
Officers were able to track the teens down and recover the vehicle.
Police have not yet released any information as to why the teens involved in the carjacking of Anwar targeted him.
While the matter remains under investigation, Uber offered its condolences to the Anwar family.
"We are devastated by this tragic news and our hearts go out to Mohammad’s family during this difficult time," the statement said.
"We’re grateful the suspects have been arrested and thank the Metropolitan Police Department for their diligence with this investigation."
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