Ayub Ali, 61, the father of Elama Ali and her brother, two of the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February, was fatally shot during a robbery at his convenience store, CNN reports. Police have released surveillance footage but have so far made no arrests.
On Tuesday afternoon, an armed man entered Aunt Molly's Food Store and robbed the cash register while holding a gun to Ayub. He left after taking the money, but returned soon afterwards to kill the father of four.
Ayub, the family’s main bread-winner, came to the United States from Bangladesh in the late 1990s, and had three sons beside his only daughter, Elama. His youngest son is just under 2 years old. The family had only recently moved to what had been named Florida’s safest city in the past year.
"The reason we moved to Parkland was because he liked the school," Elama told CNN on Friday. "I didn't want to move here. But he told us, 'We are only moving because the school is amazing.’"
Understandably, the shooting in February that left 17 people dead made him worried for his children’s safety. In response, Ayub supported his daughter’s activism and gave his blessing for her to attend the March for Our Lives rally earlier this year, organized by the Parkland students to raise awareness around gun safety and safer gun laws.
"He took me where I wanted to go," Elama said. "When i was in Washington, he asked about it. He watched it on TV."
Ayub’s funeral was on Friday, and the family was still struggling to cope with his loss. "We're trying to be strong, but it's overwhelming," Elama said. "If you came for the money, take the money and go,” Ayub’s wife, Farhana, said. "Why did you have to kill my husband?"