New American group gets grant to address violence among young men
By Guy Page
Abdiaziz “Drill” Abdhikadir, 19, has been charged with shooting Hussein Mubarak, 21, of Burlington in the head at point-blank range July 7 on the sidewalk near Mubarak’s family home on Luck Street in the Old North End of Burlington.
Police also charged Abdiakadir with eight counts of attempted murder for shooting into the Mubarak family home on February 12 while Hussein’s parents and six children were present. It was Burlington’s first ‘gunfire incident’ of 2022. That number is now almost 30.
Abdhikadir, the main suspect in the case, has been incarcerated on unrelated gun possession and car theft charges since late July. He is scheduled to be arraigned in court at 10:30 this morning.
Abdhikadir and Hussein, raised in the Burlington area’s African immigrant “New American” community, both possessed lengthy criminal records before the July killing. WCAX reported last Friday that as of midsummer, almost half of the 2022 gunfire incidents in Burlington were related to young New American men.
The City of Burlington is trying to face the problem head-on. A grant-funded program to address violence among young New American men should be up and running by December.
According to WCAX, a $20,000 grant has been awarded to the Vermont New American Advisory Council “to fund activities including support groups with mental health clinicians of color. It’s designed to bring these communities together to address safety concerns, mistrust of the legal and judicial system, and the culture of fear.”
“When this murder happened, it was our city’s first in more than two years,” Police Chief Jon Murad said in an Oct. 27 statement. “Since then, we have experienced three more, but detectives – particularly Detective Corporal Nikki Moyer – didn’t let this one go. They kept at it, combing through reams of evidence. They pursued it from human angles, too, with witness and associate interviews, and extensive contact with the family.”
All four Burlington murders have now yielded arrests, Murad said.