The 87-year-old man gunned down in New York City by a crazed shooting suspect who fired from a moped was on his way to pray at his local mosque when he was killed.
Homod Ali Saeidi was en route to services in Queens Saturday morning when he was shot on Jamaica Avenue by a gunman identified as Thomas Abreu, 25, by police. Authorities said a 9mm pistol with an extended magazine was used in the attack that left three others hurt.
Abreu now faces one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and six other gun charges.
Saeidi’s son, Ahmed Alsaedi, described his father as a man who, despite his age, was in terrific physical shape, running three to four miles a day. His death comes as a shock.
‘My heart is broken, my family is all devastated,’ Alsaedi said Sunday. ‘We can’t believe something like that would happen to an 86-year-old man. It’s terrible.’
Homod Ali Saeidi, 86, was on his way to services in Queens Saturday morning when he was shot on Jamaica Avenue by a gunman since identified as Thomas Abreu
Abreu was pictured in cuffs as he faces one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and six other gun charges
Saedi’s daily routine included his run before a visit to a local park and then off to the mosque, his son told the New York Post.
Alsaedi’s father emigrated to America from Yemen in 1962 to build a life for himself, eventually bringing over his entire family, his son said.
The father-of-six was set to return to his native Yemen next week for a family trip, Alsaedi said.
He worked in the United States as a farmer before eventually owning grocery stores and working in real estate prior to his retirement.
‘He’s a cheerful guy,’ Alsaedi said. ‘He liked to joke a lot. He has a lot of friends.’
The son also criticized New York City’s crime problem, believing that officers had their hands tied from stopping Abreu.
‘The system right now, it needs to be reevaluated because crime in New York City is just unbelievable,’ he said.
‘Every day it’s deteriorating. So hopefully the mayor, the commissioner or the governor will do something about it and try to get more power to police,’ he added. ‘Because right now crime is going up, up, up.’
Saedi was killed in the Saturday shooting that left three others hurt
The 9mm pistol used in the shooting was recovered by police (pictured)
Surveillance footage shows the moped-riding gunman who terrorized New York City’s neighborhoods of Queens and Brooklyn on Saturday morning
A broken window is seen in Queens after the gunman rode his moped, opening fire at random
The crashed moped is seen in a NYPD handout
New York City Police are seen at the scene of Saturday’s shooting in Queens moments after the gunman opened fire
Assistant Chief Joseph Kenny of the NYPD Detective Bureau said they believe the weapon used in the attack was a ‘ghost gun’, with its serial number removed.
‘We have not found a serial number on the gun,’ Kenny said.
‘We’re trying to determine whether it’s defaced, or possibly a ghost gun. That’ll come out later on in our investigation.’
Kenny said Abreu was ‘not targeting anybody.’
He added: ‘He’s not following anybody. As he’s driving on his scooter, he’s randomly shooting people.’
The first shooting happened around 11am on Saturday in the Cypress Hills district of Brooklyn, where the gunman shot and injured a 21-year-old man in the shoulder.
Abreu then crossed over into the borough of Queens, and at 11:30am shot the 86-year-old man in the back near a nail salon in the Richmond Hill district.
Less than ten minutes later, Abreu opened fire again on 134th Street, shooting one man.
The gunman’s moped is seen near Jamaica train station in Queens on Saturday afternoon
Abreu shot and wounded his third victim at 11:35am at 126th Street and Hillside Avenue, hitting him in the face and leaving him in a critical condition.
The gunman’s fourth and final victim – a 63-year-old man – was shot in the shoulder shortly after.
Abreu was stopped by police just after 1pm near the Jamaica train station, on Sutphin Blvd. and 94th Avenue.
He was recognized after an image of the gunman was sent to every officer’s cellphone.
Edward Caban, the acting commissioner of the NYPD, thanked the officers involved in detaining the gunman and said the motive was unclear.
Abreu had one prior arrest for a traffic violation.
‘A firearm was recovered in the scooter – a 9 mm pistol and extended magazine,’ said Caban.
‘Given the violence this person was going to carry out, I want to extend my deepest thanks to all the men and women in the NYPD.’