Because it doesn’t fit the agenda.
ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis businessman who killed three employees before turning the gun on himself was a Somali immigrant, described by friends as an intelligent man who was quick to reach out to other new-arriving Somalis, but who had lingering anger years after the divorce from his first wife.
Police say 59-year-old Ahmed Dirir walked into his business, AK Home Health Care LLC, on Thursday afternoon, got into a brief argument, and then shot his three employees. Killed were 44-year-old Khadra Muse of Olivette, Mo., 29-year-old Seaeed Abdulla of St. Louis, and 54-year-old Bernice Solomon-Redd of East St. Louis, Ill.
Dirir, Muse and Abdulla were all from Somalia, said Omar Jamal of the Somali mission to the U.N. Jamal, who often gets involved in issues of high interest involving Somalis in the U.S., said he spoke with several friends and relatives of Dirir and the victims, including the wives of Dirir and Abdulla.
The home health agency was headquartered in a small business incubator building in a former movie theater on Cherokee Street, a revitalizing mixed-race neighborhood about five miles south of downtown St. Louis.
Police Capt. Michael Sack said Dirir used a semi-automatic handgun. Video surveillance showed what appeared to be a verbal dispute, followed a short time later by shots that penetrated an inside wall, Sack said. Neighbors in other businesses in the building called police after hearing gunfire.
A records search found no previous criminal record for Dirir except a couple of speeding cases. There was no record that he had a permit to carry a firearm.
Police haven’t disclosed a motive, but Jamal said the relatives and friends of Dirir he spoke with described a marked change in his demeanor after he and his wife divorced in Texas years earlier. It wasn’t clear when the divorce was finalized, though friends said Dirir had remarried.
Jamal said about 2,000 Somali immigrants are living in St. Louis.
Mohamed Noor, 34, of St. Louis, said he used to work with Dirir. Noor stood outside a Somali-owned grocery near where the shooting took place Thursday evening with several others who said they were heartbroken over the shootings.
“We joked around, we chilled together,” Noor said of Dirir.
Noor said Dirir was still reeling from a difficult divorce from his first wife and was stressed over financial problems. Dirir had married again, friends said.
“He told me for two or three years, ‘I’m going to kill people and then myself,’ but nobody took him seriously,” Noor said.
Apparently Mohamed Noor didn’t take him seriously either.
On Friday evening, Yusuf Dirir saw his father again — this time, to wash his body in keeping with Muslim burial tradition.