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Somali Community Mourns Shooting Death Of Businessman, Supporter Of Arts

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(credit: CBS) Reg Chapman
Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO fr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Somali-American community is mourning the death of a businessman after a shooting.

Fuad Ali, 31, was gunned down in the 2600 block of Pleasant Avenue South. He was found lying in the street with a gunshot wound to the back early Wednesday morning.

His death has left many in the community angry and wanting answers.

Friends say Ali was a humble man who used the two banquet halls he owned to promote the arts in the Somali community.

“Arts are very important in our community, and it’s been dying in the last 20 years so now we are seeing a renaissance, a revival,” said Abdirizak Bihi, a friend of Ali’s.

Bihi says Ali was responsible for bringing famous Somali artists to perform in Minnesota.

He would bring them to his banquet hall on Lake Street and he had plans to expand, as he recently bought a new banquet hall near 29th and Pillsbury.

“He would use that place to help young people bring out their artistic talents, and he would organize the community to get together there,” Bihi said.

His space was used as a place for Somali dignitaries to meet as well, and for events like birthdays and anniversaries.

“Fuad was a humble young man, well loved by the community,” said Said Ali, a friend Ali met in high school.

The deceased was married with two children. His wife is seven months pregnant with their third child.

Bihi says he hopes the killing of this businessman will be enough to end the cycle of silence and get people talking to authorities about what they know.

“This madness has to stop,” he said.

Fuad Ali provided many jobs in the community. Bihi says Somali Americans advocate for business owners because one in five in the community works for a Somali-owned business.

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