Dozens gathered for a vigil under a bridge on Campbell Avenue in West Haven. On the ground, flowers and candles were placed next to pictures of 19-year-old Mubarak Soulemane. It’s just feet away from where he died one year ago.
“It’s hard, very devastating to all my family,” said Omo Mohammed, Soulemane’s mom.
Last year body camera footage captured Trooper Brian North shooting and killing Soulemane. State Police say it began as an investigation into a reported carjacking and that after a police chase, they say Soulemane showed a weapon which turned out to be a knife.
The Soulemane family’s attorney says the family wants criminal prosecution and are waiting to go forward with a $10 million civil case against the state.
“Mubarak was shot seven times through a closed car window,” said attorney Mark Arons. “Mubarak was fully isolated and contained within the vehicle, so he posed no harm to anybody.”
“I want him to be held accountable for killing him,” said Mohammed.
The Middlesex State’s Attorney Michael Gailor released the following statement on Thursday: “As we approach the anniversary of the death of Mubarak Soulemane, I, on behalf of the Division of Criminal Justice, would like to extend our condolences, once again, to Mr. Soulemane’s family and friends for their loss. I would also like to assure his family and the public that the investigation is still ongoing. While we are striving to complete the investigation as quickly as possible, our primary goal is to ensure that the investigation is thorough and complete. Pursuant to General Statutes Section 51-277a(c), the Division of Criminal Justice will issue a report upon the conclusion of the investigation.”
State police say Trooper North continues to remain on administrative suspension pending the outcome of the investigation.
Soulemane’s family says he struggled with mental illness but had dreams of having a family and career.
“Unfortunately, with his sickness, it held him back a lot, but underneath that sickness still was Mubarak, a loving, caring soul. And I want people to know that,” said Soulemane’s sister, Mariyann Soulemane.