Seward Market mural memorializes three slain men

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A new mural painted on the side of the Seward Market and Halal Meat in Minneapolis aims to honor three men who lost their lives there last year.

Over the summer, teen artists and neighborhood volunteers came to the Franklin Avenue corner store with ladders and buckets of paint to memorialize the victims. Store employee Osman Jama Elmi, his cousin Mohamed Abdi Warfa, and customer Anwar Salah Mohammed were shot to death in January 2010 in what was the city’s first triple homicide in several years.

Elmi and Warfa were Somali-American, and Mohammed was an ethnic Oromo from Ethiopia. A trial for the suspected killer is scheduled for Sept. 6.

The mural is meant to pay tribute to the victims and celebrate the community’s diversity, said Articulture, the nearby visual-arts educational group that led the effort.

Guided by professional photographers Mohamud Mumin and Jennifer Larson, the teens also took photos from the community that have been turned into five collage panels along the wall. The photography is meant to tell the story of the community.

A public celebration unveiling the mural, starting at 3 p.m. Sunday, comes on the heels of another tragedy for the Seward community.

True Thai Restaurant will be closed on Saturday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. in honor of the restaurant’s chef, Anousone “Ped” Phanthavong. The chef was killed Tuesday in a hit-and-run off ramp from westbound Interstate 94 to Riverside Avenue.

Our thoughts are with our friends in Seward. More than a year after the triple homicide, many still have signs posted in businesses and homes declaring “Seward Stands Together.”

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