Family of murdered Seattle high school student seeks justice amidst legal roadblocks

The family of 15-year-old Mobarak Adam, tragically murdered in a Seattle community center, is grappling with grief and a frustrating lack of closure. 

Dozens of supporters, including Seattle’s Police Chief Adrian Diaz, rallied outside the Southwest Community Center in South Seattle Friday, pleading for answers in the case that has remained unsolved for months.

According to Seattle police, Mobarak was killed just feet away from his high school, Chief Sealth, in the West Seattle neighborhood. His body was discovered inside a bathroom at the community center, sparking an investigation that has hit roadblocks.

Sharif Mohammed, Mobarak's father, expressed the ongoing pain of losing his son and told FOX 13 Seattle that he will never fully heal from the murder of his 15-year-old son. 

"My family and his friends, it hurts everybody," Mohammed shared. "It's been three months, I think there is nothing new they are going to gather."

Legal hurdles in the investigation

The case has been plagued by limited evidence, hindering progress in identifying the perpetrator. Police have been unable to recover the gun used in Mobarak's murder, and security cameras inside the teen center, which could have captured crucial evidence, have been broken for years.

Adding to the challenge, a recent change in state law is preventing investigators from making headway in the case. The Washington state law, enacted in 2021, requires police to provide legal representation to underage suspects before questioning or arresting them. Mohammed believes this law is impeding justice for his son.

"We know who went into that bathroom, so we have certain info we're trying to get out of what happened in the bathroom," Mohammed explained. "That's hard because we want to bring justice to the family and we want to bring closure to the family, but we are struggling to do an interview."

police crime tape around teen center in west seattle

Crime tape surrounds the entrance of the Southwest Community Center in West Seattle where Mobarak Adam was shot to death in January 2024.  (FOX 13 Seattle)

Plea for reconsideration

Mohammed is now urging legislators to reconsider this law, emphasizing the need for closure. 

"That law should be considered not blocking the victim’s family from getting closure," he stated.

In a poignant plea, Mohammed reiterated the family's desire for resolution. "That's what we want, closure. We want closure."

mobarak adam

It's been almost two months since the tragic death of Chief Sealth High School student Mobarak Adam and tonight his family is no closer to learning who killed him. (Family of Mobarak Adam)

Seeking answers

This heartbreaking case is not the first connected to Chief Sealth High School. Just a year ago, the family of Ka'Don Brown marked the one-year anniversary of his unsolved murder. Brown's body was discovered in the parking lot of Chief Sealth High School in April 2023, adding to the community's pain and frustration.

Efforts to reach the legislator who sponsored the 2021 law, as well as Seattle Parks for updates on the teen center's cameras, have been made. However, responses have not been received at this time.

The community continues to stand with the family of Mobarak Adam, hoping for justice and closure in the wake of this tragic loss.


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