PORTLAND, Ore. — One year after the shooting death of Dhulfiqar Mseer, the Portland man’s family has no answers. There have been no arrests and the pain of losing a son and a brother hasn’t gotten any easier.
“He was an angel. He was everything for us,” said Mseer’s mother Athraa, speaking through an interpreter. “Everybody loved him.”
The living room walls of her Southeast Portland apartment are filled with photos of the 23-year-old refugee from Iraq.
“We came here looking for security and to be safe. We wanted a better future. We lost everything. We don’t feel safe anymore,” said Mseer’s mother.
Mseer moved to Portland with his family about five years ago. He worked as an Uber driver, who was especially proud of his five-star customer rating.
“That shows how good a person he is. It is not easy to get five stars on Uber,” said family friend and community leader Ahmed Al Zubidi.
The fun-loving Mseer had recently gotten married after a trip to Iraq. He was working to bring his new wife back to the U.S. and hoped to buy a house.
Mseer loved adventure and had an optimistic outlook on life.
“He was always funny. He took us out and helped us see new things,” said Mseer’s 17-year-old sister Zahraa. “He helped us find fun and a better life in the United States.”
Around midnight on December 11, 2020, Mseer was about to pick-up an Uber passenger in his white Honda Accord, when he was shot and killed in a hail of gunfire near Northeast Stafford Street and 11th Avenue in Portland.
Police think Mseer was murdered in a gang-related ambush meant to target someone else.
The FBI has offered a $15,000 reward in the case. Investigators think multiple people fired approximately 70 rounds, then got into two cars and took off.
One of the cars is believed to be a Volkswagen Eos, according to the FBI. A review of Oregon DMV records showed there were 99 Volkswagen Eos registered in Portland, and 475 statewide, although the vehicle could have been stolen or registered outside the area.
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Federal investigators also explained that shell casings at the scene of Mseer’s murder have been matched to casings found at other gang-involved shootings in the area.
Police records indicate there were at least eight shootings in Portland the week leading up to Mseer’s death. Two of the shootings were only a few blocks away.
Mseer came to America, with his family, to escape the violence in Iraq.
Instead, the 23-year-old became yet another victim of Portland’s gun violence.
“This was his dream. He was in love with the United States,” said Mseer’s mother. “We lost his dream. I don’t know why my son was killed.”
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