NATIONAL NEWS

An Afghan man who spent years helping US forces in Afghanistan is shot and killed in Washington

Jul 7, 2023, 3:22 PM | Updated: 4:51 pm

Mohammad Ahmadi poses for a portrait in Alexandria, Va., Friday, July 7, 2023, while holding a phon...

Mohammad Ahmadi poses for a portrait in Alexandria, Va., Friday, July 7, 2023, while holding a phone showing a digital photograph of his relative Nasrat Ahmad Yar who was shot and killed on July 3, in Washington, while working as a ride-share driver. Ahmad Yar was an Afghan immigrant who'd worked as an interpreter for the U.S. military in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Serkan Gurbuz)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Serkan Gurbuz)

WASHINGTON (AP) — At 31 years old, Nasrat Ahmad Yar had spent most of his adult life working with the U.S. military in Afghanistan before escaping to America in search of a better life for his wife and four children.

He found work as a ride-share driver and even managed to send money back to Afghanistan to help family and friends. He liked to play volleyball with friends in the Washington suburb where many Afghans who fled their country now live. At 6 feet 5 inches, he had a powerful serve.

On Monday night, worried about making rent, he went out driving and was shot and killed in Washington. No suspects have been arrested, but surveillance video captured the sound of a single gunshot and four boys or young men were seen running away. Police have offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

“He was so generous. He was so nice. He was always trying to help the people,” said Rahim Amini, a fellow Afghan immigrant and longtime friend. He said Ahmad Yar always reminded him, “Don’t forget the people left behind.”

Jeramie Malone, an American who came to know Ahmed Yar through her volunteer work with a veteran-founded organization bringing former Afghan interpreters to safety, also was struck by his generosity.

“He always wanted to be giving more than he was receiving and he was just really extremely kind.” In America, Malone said, “all he wanted was a chance.”

Amini said Ahmad Yar had worked for the U.S. military for about a decade as an interpreter and doing other jobs, seeing it as a way to help pave the way for the next generation in Afghanistan to have a better life.

While the U.S. has had a Special Immigrant Visa program for Afghans who worked closely with the U.S. government to come to America since 2009, Amini said his friend didn’t want to apply right away, preferring to stay in Afghanistan, where he felt needed.

He remembered Ahmad Yar saying: “I have guys here I need to support. … When I feel that they don’t need my support then I can go to America.”

Then, in August 2021, the U.S. pulled out of Afghanistan and the Taliban took over.

Mohammad Ahmadi, Ahmad Yar’s cousin, was already in America after also working for the U.S. military. The two talked on the phone about how to get Ahmad Yar and his family out of Afghanistan. Ahmadi said his cousin could see the Taliban soldiers walking through the streets of Kabul and was worried they would discover he’d been an interpreter for the U.S. military.

“He said, ‘I don’t want to get killed in front of my wife and kids,’” Ahmadi said. When he wasn’t able to get out of the crowded Kabul airport, Ahmad Yar went to northern Afghanistan in hopes of getting into Uzbekistan. When that didn’t work, he and his family went to the northwestern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, where he and his family were able to get on a flight to the United Arab Emirates and then eventually travel to America.

Even when laying low in Mazar-e-Sharif, Nasrat would go out of his way to assist other Afghans who also had come to escape the Taliban — greeting them on arrival to the strange city, bringing their families to stay with his, and feeding them, while all waited for flights out, Malone said.

“Nasrat was very different, because even though he was needing help, he was always helping me,” she said.

While waiting at the interim transit camp in the United Arab Emirates, he asked for writing supplies for the children so he could teach them English before they arrived in the U.S., Malone said. “It was really important for him for his kids to get an education and for them to … have opportunities they never would have had in Afghanistan.”

His eldest child, a girl, is now 13, and the others are boys, ages 11, 8 and just 15 months old.

The family went first to Pennsylvania, but Amini said his friend was robbed there and decided to move to Alexandria, in northern Virginia just outside Washington. Amini said Ahmad Yar told him he’d fled to the U.S. “to be safe and unfortunately I’m not safe here.”

In northern Virginia, they both ended up being ride-share drivers and lived about two miles (three kilometers) from each other. Like many in the Afghan diaspora there, they chatted throughout the day in a WhatsApp group text. And they played in a weekly volleyball game. Ahmad Yar was really good and no one could block his serve, Amini said.

Amini said they spoke Monday evening and the next thing he knew he was woken up by another Afghan friend who’d somehow heard that Ahmad Yar had been killed.

In disbelief, Amini began frantically calling his friend. But it was the police who finally answered the phone: “The police officer said: ‘I’m sorry. Unfortunately he’s not alive anymore.’”

Ahmad Yar will be laid to rest on Saturday. His wife is still in shock, said Ahmad Yar’s cousin, Ahmadi. But she said she and her husband had the same goal in coming to America — to provide a future for their children.

She told Ahmadi: “I have the same goal for them. They can go to school. They can go to college and become educated and good people for the society.”

__

Follow Santana on Twitter @ruskygal.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

FILE: Two crop dusting airplanes collided near an airport in southern Idaho on Thursday, June 20, 2...

Associated Press

2 crop dusting airplanes collided in southern Idaho, killing 1 pilot and severely injuring the other

Two crop dusting airplanes collided near an airport in southern Idaho on Thursday and crashed to the ground, killing one of the pilots and leaving the other with life-threatening injuries, officials said.

8 hours ago

A SkyWest Airlines jet approaches Salt Lake International Airport on Sept. 24, 2022. SkyWest announ...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Flights between St. George and Los Angeles to resume after 4-year delay

St. George-based SkyWest Airlines announced this week that daily flights between St. George Regional Airport and Los Angeles International Airport will return this fall, through United Express, one of SkyWest's different airline service partners.

13 hours ago

The Supreme Court decided Friday to uphold a federal gun control law that is meant to protect victi...

Brian Carlson

Supreme Court upholds gun law intended to protect domestic violence victims

The Supreme Court decided Friday to uphold a federal gun control law that is meant to protect victims of domestic violence. The law prevents people with a domestic violence restraining order from having a gun.

1 day ago

Recount observers watch ballots during a Milwaukee hand recount of Presidential votes at the Wiscon...

Ken Ritter, Associated Press

Fake elector case in Nevada dismissed over venue question, state attorney general vows appeal

A Nevada judge has dismissed a criminal indictment against six Republicans accused of submitting certificates to Congress falsely declaring Donald Trump the winner of the state’s 2020 presidential election.

1 day ago

The bodies of two men, including a U.S. Air Force colonel who served as director of operations for ...

Associated Press

Bodies of Air Force colonel and Utah man are recovered after their plane crashed in an Alaska lake

The bodies of two men, including a U.S. Air Force colonel who served as director of operations for the Alaskan Command, have been recovered after their small plane plunged into an Alaska lake.

1 day ago

Four menthol vaping products were authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday, the ...

Jen Christensen, CNN

FDA sign-off on menthol e-cigarettes ‘flies in the face of public health,’ anti-tobacco groups say

Four menthol vaping products were authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday, the first non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products to get the agency’s sign-off. The decision drew harsh criticism from pediatricians and anti-tobacco groups.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

An Afghan man who spent years helping US forces in Afghanistan is shot and killed in Washington