Community mourns after learning Denver father killed in Sudanese warfare

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DENVER (KDVR) — A local family said their Denver father was killed Wednesday in the midst of Sudanese warfare.

Abubaker Abumasha is known as a pillar in the Colorado Sudanese community. Loved ones tell FOX31 he left last Thursday to celebrate the end of Ramadan and Eid with his wife and three young daughters in Sudan. This morning, they got the call that Abumasha was shot and killed trying to bring his family to safety. 

“He was literally just trying to get get my family somewhere safer,” Abumasha’s son, Khalid Maleeh, said. “On the way there, the Janjaweed militia in Sudan, they came and they started letting off shots and they shot my dad in the leg. Then another shot hit him in his head.”

Abumasha’s brother-in-law, Amer Tawir, dropped him off at Denver International Airport days ago. They exchanged messages Wednesday morning shortly before he learned of his death. 

“He told me, ‘We just need to move out of here because it’s not safe,’ and then it was too late,” Tawir said. “I wasn’t ever expecting something like that’s going to happen.”

Maleeh is a student at Colorado State University. He said he got the call from one of his younger sisters in Sudan while in his dorm Wednesday morning.

“My own father was just gunned down,” Maleeh said. “He had nothing on him. No weapons, no nothing. They don’t care about civilians. This is two armies fighting for power.”

Denver father supported Sudanese immigrants

Community members who came together to mourn at the Sudanese community room in Aurora told FOX31 that Abumasha took care of many people. They said he’s lived in Denver for decades, driving taxis and working to drive people around the area around the clock to provide for his family.

“Ever since I was a kid, he’s been working with people that came from Sudan, bringing them to our house, taking care of them until they get on their feet,” Maleeh said. “My dad’s the hardest working person I know. He never took a day off, Monday to Sunday. Every single day.”

“He is actually one of the people who supported me the most when I made it to this country,” Maofaul said. 

Maleeh and Tawir now are fighting to bring their siblings from Sudan to Colorado to protect them.

FOX31 reached out to multiple Colorado senators and state representatives. A spokesperson from Sen. John Hickenlooper’s team said they have forwarded the message to the casework team.

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