An immigrant from Afghanistan who served as an interpreter for US troops was recently murdered in Dallas.
Friends and members of the North Texas Afghan community joined together Thursday to pay tribute to 28-year-old Ahmad Yar. They say he was a refugee who worked hard to support his family back home.
Yar was shot and killed last week while he was sitting in his car outside a convenience store in Northeast Dallas.
A couple dozen people showed up Thursday to remember the life of Ahmad Yar. They wanted the North Texas community to know about his journey and his service to the US.
Members of the DFW Afghan community gathered at Dallas City Hall to hold Yar’s vigil.
“He was a frontline combat linguist for US and Afghan Special Forces back in Afghanistan,” explained Sadiq Afghan, the vigil’s organizer.
Friends say Yar came to the United States in 2014 on a special visa available to those who have worked as translators for US troops. Yar did so in his home country of Afghanistan, where it is dangerous for residents to stay after they have worked with the Americans.
“Supporting us forces in Afghanistan and then living as a common Afghan is not easy over there,” Afghan said. “So, of course, we all over there who supported United States Army and troops, they're all in danger. So the very first thing they're seeking is protection.”
Yar sought protection in the U.S. while also working to support his family back home.
Community members say he had just picked up cash to mail his family on March 19 around 8 p.m. While he was sitting in his bright yellow Camaro, a man shot him dead. Police say a surveillance camera captured the whole thing.
A couple days later, an officer found the suspect sleeping in the car in the same area where the shooting happened. Franklin Fuller, 29, is now charged with capital murder.
“Imagine where a person who made his journey through all those missions and through all those difficulties in his life through all those missions he had been with US and Afghan forces,” Afghan said. “And finally as he made it over here, it’s just somebody comes out of nowhere and takes his life for no reason.”
The community has many questions. But for now, they'll focus on remembering a friend.
Fuller remains behind bars. Police say that the surveillance video showed Fuller take something out of the car after the shooting.
According to court records, Fuller admitted to killing Yar but didn't remember taking anything.