WASHINGTON — Two teenage girls have been charged with the botched carjacking and killing of an Uber Eats driver in Washington, D.C.
Metropolitan police officials have charged the girls, ages 13 and 15, with felony murder and armed carjacking, according to a news release. The girls were reportedly armed with a Taser when they attempted to steal the vehicle belonging to Mohammad Anwar, 66, of Springfield, Virginia.
Police officers were called around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to the 1200 block of Van Street Southeast, a block from Nationals Park, for a car crash. There, they found Anwar, who had been thrown from his overturned Honda Accord and was suffering life-threatening injuries.
Anwar was rushed to a hospital.
“After all lifesaving efforts failed, the victim was pronounced dead,” the news release said.
The Washington Post reported that the attempted carjacking began as Anwar sat in his car outside the Navy Yard Metro Station. Homicide Detective Chad Leo, who testified Wednesday at the girls’ initial court appearance, said that Anwar drove the short distance to the baseball park.
Witnesses and video of the crime told investigators what happened next, the Post reported.
A struggle began inside the car, at which point the 13-year-old girl shouted, “He’s got my cellphone,” Leo testified. Anwar ended up outside the car, with the 15-year-old in the driver’s seat and the younger girl in the passenger seat.
Anwar was not going to give up his vehicle, however.
Leo told the court that the delivery driver tried to force his way back inside, climbing on top of the teen in the driver’s seat. Before he got completely inside the car, the 13-year-old reached over, started the ignition and “manipulated” the gear shift, the detective said.
The vehicle lurched forward with Anwar still “hanging outside the car,” according to the Post. The car traveled a block before making a sharp turn to the right, striking the curb, smashing into a parked car and overturning.
Anwar was ejected.
Video obtained by NBC Washington shows National Guard service members, who witnessed the crash, pulling the girls from the wrecked car.
See that video footage below.
The girls’ names have been withheld due to their ages. The 15-year-old is from Fort Washington, Maryland. The younger girl is from D.C.
A witness told NBC Washington that she couldn’t believe what she was seeing at first.
“I saw all the police cars first. Then I saw the car, and I thought, ‘This must be a movie scene or something,’” D.C. resident Pamela Johnson told the NBC affiliate.
A GoFundMe page set up for Anwar’s family described him as a hardworking Pakistani immigrant who came to the United States to make a better life for his family.
“He was simply at work yesterday evening, providing for his family, when his life was tragically taken in an appalling act of violence,” the page stated. “Anwar was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend who always provided a smile when you needed one. He leaves behind a family, near and far, who cherish, love and miss him dearly.”
As of Friday morning, the page had raised more than $146,000, well over the set goal of $100,000. The funds are designated to pay for a traditional Islamic funeral and to help Anwar’s widow with finances, as the slain delivery driver was the primary breadwinner.
The couple has three grown children, two living in the U.S. and one in Pakistan, the Post reported. They also have four grandchildren in Pakistan.
Lehra Bogino, who established the GoFundMe page, is Anwar’s niece by marriage. She wrote on Facebook that the family is devastated by their loss.
“We are all so confused, angry and heartbroken by this ridiculous and nonsensical act of violence,” Bogino wrote. “All he did was go to work to support his family.”
A spokesperson for Uber Eats confirmed that Anwar was making a food delivery when he was killed, the Post reported.
“We are devastated by this tragic news and our hearts go out to Mohammad’s family during this difficult time,” the company said in a statement.
Cox Media Group