'He was peaceful.' A grieving sister remembers an Ottawa man murdered in Fort McMurray
Published Thursday, February 12, 2015 6:07PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 12, 2015 6:52PM EST
“He embodied everything that our religion teaches us. He was peaceful. He was trustworthy. He was a very honest person.”
That’s how Salma Mattan describes her older brother.
28-year old Mustafa Mattan grew up in Ottawa, the oldest of a family of 7. He moved to Fort McMurray, Alberta a few weeks ago for work. Late Monday night he was shot and killed in the apartment he shared with his brother and other roommates. Family members say the shots came through the closed apartment door. They have no idea who killed Mattan or why.
“The way that he lived there's no way that something like that could happen, that he could be involved in anything that was criminally-related or anything whatsoever," says his sister at the family home in Ottawa.
Mustafa Mattan had lived in Canada since he was 2 years old. He earned a degree in Health Sciences from the University of Ottawa. He was a devout Muslim, well-known and well-liked at Ottawa's Assalam Mosque. He even briefly taught for a while at the Ottawa Islamic School. “He was, I would say, one of the rising stars for his community in Ottawa as well for the larger community,” says Ottawa Islamic School Principal Mohamed Sheikh Ahmed.
“I think this was a tragic death that did not need to happen. I think he wanted a better life in this country and, unfortunately, whoever has done this should give themselves up or give information to authorities,” says Abdulhakim Moalimishak, President of the Assalam Mosque.
RCMP in Fort McMurray won’t say whether they believe this was a targeted shooting, a case of mistaken identity or possibly even a hate crime. To date they have no suspects in custody. They say the other occupants of the apartment are co-operating with the investigation. They are also asking anyone with any information to come forward.
Samla Mattan said her brother was to be laid to rest in Edmonton Thursday afternoon. “He will definitely be missed by his family and he will be loved.”