About 80 people from different races, religions and communities called for unity at a Friday evening rally at the Cleveland gas station where Fazliddin Yakubov was shot a week earlier.
The 49-year-old Cleveland man was shot three times in the stomach when he and his son went to buy gasoline from the station at East 76th Street and Superior Avenue.
Julia Shearson, executive director of the Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the diverse crowd did not surprise her.
“I was particularly pleased with the show of support from the Jewish and Christian communities,” she said. “That means so much to the Muslim community.”
Shearson said she wants the shooter and possible witnesses to tell authorities what happened.
“They deserve mercy,” she said. “They were born good people. I believe someone in that group has a conscious and will come forward.”
The FBI and Cleveland Police Department are jointly investigating the shooting. No arrests have been made, but FBI spokesman Scott Wilson said they are reviewing the security camera footage to identify people and vehicles present at the time.
Members of the Muslim community have called it a hate crime because five young men had been mocking Yakubov at the gas station while he was conversing with his son in their native Uzbek language.
Yakubov’s son Farhad, 22, did not attend the rally but said the show of support has been overwhelming.
He said more than 100 people have visited each day at MetroHealth Medical Center, where his father remains on a ventilator in critical condition. (MORE)