Friends and family of the man killed this year in a Home Depot parking lot in what might have been a hate crime are hosting a vigil Saturday night in his memory.
The “vigil for peace” honoring Hassan Alawsi will take place 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims (SALAM) Center, 4541 College Oak Drive in North Highlands.
Alawsi, a 46-year-old artist, was gunned down March 16 in the Home Depot parking lot on Florin Road after a shopping trip with his sister. Authorities are investigating the possibility the shooting was a hate crime: Alawsi was an Iraqi immigrant and was shopping that night with his sister, who was wearing a hijab, a Muslim head scarf.
The man accused of killing Alawsi, Jeffrey Caylor, did not know Alawsi and told relatives he hated people of Middle Eastern descent because of a business dispute with a man who turned out to be a South Asian immigrant, according to authorities. Caylor was taken into custody in late March.
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A memorial fund also has been set up for Alawsi’s family. Friends and family say he was the sole breadwinner for his brother and sister. The money will go toward helping them and the rest of the family recoup expenses from his burial in Iraq. Any additional money will go toward the development of a non-profit organization to assist artists who are struggling to launch their art careers.
Donations can be made at any U.S. Bank branch. The account number is 157502402835.