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Friday, February 13, 2015

Friends 'devastated' as Ottawa man shot dead in Fort McMurray

The family of Mustafa Mattan was in Alberta Thursday, burying the 28-year-old man who had been a popular role model to younger members of the Ottawa mosque he attended regularly, says the mosque's president.
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Mattan was shot and killed in Fort McMurray, Alta., Monday in the apartment he rented with his brother after they left Ottawa a few weeks ago. RCMP in Fort McMurray were called to a building Monday at 11:20 p.m. after gunshots were fired. They discovered Mattan's dead body inside his apartment.

Mattan was a gentle, hard-working young man who went out west to earn money to pay for a wedding, a family friend said.
According to Islamic custom, he was buried where he died. Friends are using a GoFundMe.com website called Mustafa Mattan Funeral Costs to help his family pay for the unexpected expense.
Members of the Assalam Mosqsue and Ottawa Islamic Centre on St. Laurent Blvd. were "devastated" when they learned the news, said mosque president Abdulhakim Moalimishak.
Congregation members were stunned, they believe it has to be a case of mistaken identity.
They wonder if Mattan took a bullet intended for someone else -- someone who might have lived in the apartment complex before him.
The RCMP in Wood Buffalo, Alta., wouldn't comment on that possibility.
"We can't speculate as to the motive as this is currently under investigation. We're actively seeking suspects," said Cpl. George Cameron, the Mounties' spokesman in Wood Buffalo, the municipality in which Fort McMurray is located.
Work in Alberta's bustling oil fields is attractive to young men eager to make good money quickly.
Mattan was saving money because, according to Islamic tradition, young men must establish themselves financially before searching for a wife. That's why Mattan went west, said Abdi Omar, a family friend who knew Mattan's father, Matan Farah, for nearly 25 years.
"That was his sole purpose to go. That boy was harmless," Omar said. "We were not expecting Mustafa. When we were told at the mosque, everybody was shocked."
Moalimishak remembered Mattan as "a quiet, unassuming young man."
"The last guy you would think would be murdered in a violent way," he said.
Members of the Muslim community held him up as a role model because he exemplified the Canadian dream to other young members of the congregation. He stayed out of trouble. He got a university education. He helped his mother take care of his siblings.
"These are the things that made him a role model in the community," Moalimishak said.
Mattan's family immigrated from Somalia.
Moalimishak said he remembers Mattan as the kind of guy who held doors open for people, greeted people quietly and politely, wished them a good day and asked how they were.
While Somalis are often boisterous, Mattan was subdued.
"We're very devastated."
He repeated calls the family made through the media for the shooter to surrender to police, saying anyone who could shoot someone in cold blood has a "total disregard for human life."
Twitter: @Corey_Larocque

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