HAYWARD (CBS SF) — A man who was shot dead outside a hookah lounge in unincorporated Hayward early Sunday morning was identified by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday as 39-year-old Ajmal “AJ” Faroqi of Brentwood.
Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said Faroqi was shot while he was seated in his car when it stopped in the 21200 block of Mission Boulevard at about 3 a.m. Sunday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Kelly said the motive for the killing hasn’t been determined but investigators are looking into the possibility that Faroqi was shot during an attempted robbery or carjacking.
Kelly said Faroqi “was a very innocent victim who didn’t deserve what happened.”
Police have not released any information about a suspect.
Faroqi is survived by a wife and two young daughters and “was well-known in the Afghani community,” Kelly said. F
aroqi was also a well-known keyboardist who performed Afghan music around the world.
A GoFundMe page to raise money for Faroqi’s wife and daughters had raised nearly $34,000 of its $50,000 goal as of 9 p.m. Tuesday. The page is at https://www.gofundme.com/in-loving-memory-of-ajmal-faroqi.
“He loved his family. He loved his kids. He always did everything he could for them. He gave back to the community,” said his friend Shawn Villasenor.
Investigators say they are retracing his steps, searching through surveillance video and looking for any signs that Faroqi was followed after he left the hookah lounge.
Investigators say he was shot multiple times inside his Mercedes and left for dead. Investigators suspect that he was the victim of an attempted carjacking or robbery.
One friend said in a post that Faroqi “was shot and killed while he was driving home with his friends.”
Another friend wrote, “We talked about the days we worked at Fremont Toyota. I told him to go home and get some rest and he said he will. A great person to work with and always there to lend a helping hand. I’m in
tears writing this.”
A third friend wrote, “AJ was full of love and light every time I would see him. He would consistently laugh, you can see his smile from across the room because he was the guy having the most fun! He always had open arms
to anyone around him.”
His friends and police are urging witnesses to come forward with any information they may have about the suspect or motive.
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