"It wasn't normal," the neighbor recounted. "I was trying to pull over, but there was traffic behind me. Then I saw his father on the other side of Sycamore. He was running after him and trying to stop cars to get across the street and catch him."
When the traffic had finally passed her eastbound car on Sycamore, she swung around and drove up to the stepfather, heading toward Jefferson Avenue.
"I asked, 'What's going on?' and he said his son was running away and he was trying to catch him. He asked if I would give him a ride, and I did. He said he didn't want anything to happen to him.
"We spotted the boy on Jefferson, and he was trying to jump over a fence. The father got out of the car and held him by the hand. The boy said to me he wanted to go to a family member's house on Auburn Avenue.
"He said: 'I don't want to go back with him.' He would not sit in the back seat of the car with his father. He said he wanted to sit in [the] front seat next to me. I told him, 'You come home with me and we'll wait for your mother, or if you have the phone number, we'll call your family on Auburn.'"At that point, the neighbor, an immigrant from Africa like the Mohamuds, said the boy calmed down a little.By 5:20 p.m., she said, she had pulled up in front of the boy's house, and the stepfather and boy went inside.The neighbor sobbed Wednesday recounting the episode.Mohamud is married to the boy's mother, Shukri, and both have children from previous relationships for a total of six children, according to police, neighbors and acquaintances.Richards declined to comment on a motive, but neighbors said the father could be very strict, especially when it came to the youngsters doing their homework."The father wanted him to study and study. He told me, 'I check his homework every night, and his grades are going down,'" said Tariq Butt, whose family watched Abdifatah's two younger siblings after their brother's body was discovered.Butt, an acquaintance of the Mohamud family, said the stepfather had confided in him that he was upset with Abdifatah for falling behind in his homework."I always had this feeling that the father was strict," Butt said, and added that Abdifatah was a well-behaved youngster.Back on Guilford Street, as neighbors congregated throughout the day to discuss the death, Johnny Alexander, a longtime Guilford resident, offered this explanation for a killing that defied logic:"You just never know what's going on in people's homes."Mohamud is scheduled to return to City Court at 2 p.m. Monday for further proceedings. In the meantime, he is being held without bail in the Erie County Holding Center. Via Buffalo News