Yesterday's execution-style shooting of a 20-year-old student inside his family's Germantown shop was the latest example of a too-familiar story:
Some who come to Philadelphia from other countries in search of a better life suffer violent tragedy instead.
And the unhappy ending comes at the hands of robbers inside a store or place of work.
Since June, five immigrants have been fatally shot at their workplace.
Fakhur Uddin, an accounting student at Community College of Philadelphia, came to the United States seven years ago, and often worked at his family's shop, the Rahman Body Oils Beads & Variety Store, on Germantown Avenue near Chelten.
Yesterday morning, with his father, Syed Sirazuddiz, recently ill, the son opened up the store - and about an hour later his bound body was found, with a gunshot wound to the head. Police suspect more than one robber.
Here are edited excerpts from stories about three other recent Philadelphia cases, which left four immigrants dead:
Couple from Mali fatally shot in their Feltonville store
A July 15 armed robbery that netted only $11 and a bag of T-shirts wound up taking the lives of Amissi Ndikumasabo, 41, and Bintou Soumare, 45, a married couple from Africa. Ndikumasabo died of his wounds immediately, his wife of her injuries 13 days later, the day after her husband was buried back in Mali. She was buried in Philadelphia at the request of her family, which wanted a quick burial in accordance with Muslim custom, a friend said. The couple had been together in Philadelphia for about a decade and opened their Feltonville clothing store about three years ago, moving from a T-shirt stand in Kensington. Police arrested Thomas Foggy, 19, and charged him with murder. A second suspect, Donald Guy, 24, considered armed and dangerous, is being sought by authorities. - Joseph A. Gambardello, Philadelphia Inquirer
Working at his 2nd job, immigrant slain in holdup
On June 23, Fassara Kouyate, who came here from Mali in 2000 looking for work and to rejoin an uncle and brother, was killed in a late-afternoon robbery Monday at one of his workplaces, the Lehigh Car Wash, on Broad Street near Lehigh Avenue. Relatives said that Kouyate, 37, an easygoing man who always made people laugh, was shot even though he had complied with the robbers.
"My husband gave them the money," said his widow, Yvonne Woods-Kouyate, 40, on the front steps of their Kensington rowhouse. "They still shot him and took his life."
Relatives and co-workers said that Kouyate was slain just days after returning from a two-month visit to Mali to see his parents. By all accounts, Kouyate was earnest, likable and hard-working. He worked two jobs to support his wife, six stepchildren and three grandkids. - Damon C. Williams, Christine Olley, Philadelphia Daily News
Pizzeria owner from Egypt slain killed during robbery
On June 2, Aly E. Elkaied, co-owner of Carnival Pizza at 3062 N. 23d St. in North Philadelphia, was closing up shortly after 11 p.m. when a masked, armed gunman entered the rear of the store and demanded money, according to police. The 44-year-old Egyptian immigrant, a father of four, tried to fend off the robber who knew him by name, but was shot in front of relatives who then wrestled the gunman to the ground. Elkaied was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to Temple University Hospital. Charged with murder was Cordell Adams, 23, a convicted drug dealer on probation who lived on the same block as the pizza shop.
"He didn't have any enemies," said Mohammed Moukaouim, a friend of the victim, who had been in the United States for 17 years. "He's a real Muslim: He believed in peace and he worked hard to support his family." - Robert Moran, Barbara Boyer and Vernon Clark, Philadelphia Inquirer