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Friends of Tampa shooting victim say mosque where it happens is responsible

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – There is anger in the Tampa Muslim community after a shooting at a local mosque early Monday left one man dead.

The shooting happened during an observance for Ramadan.

The family of Rafat Saeed, 36, has confirmed he is the man who died that night.

Saeed recently moved to the United States from Iraq to escape violence there. He had just become a US citizen.

In a service at another mosque Tuesday, his family and friends said goodbye at his funeral.

Saeed’s friends are blaming the Islamic Society of Tampa Bay for allowing the man who shot Saeed to have a firearm at the Ramadan observance.

“They are responsible for their employee and their volunteer,” said Manwar Al Shammari.

The Islamic Center of Tampa Bay says the shooter was not working for them that night. Saeed’s friends don’t believe it.  

“The community knows otherwise. The shooter has been working for the mosque for years,” Al Shammari said.

Friends called on the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office to make an arrest.

“How can you release someone who has been proven to be a danger to the community and especially in a place of worship?” Al Shammari asked.

The sheriff’s office has not announced if they will or will not file charges in Saeed’s shooting death.

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