After fleeing war in Syria, Khaled Heeba was shot dead in the US

Khaled Heeba was shot dead in US city earlier this month after fleeing war in Syria more than three years ago.

    Baltimore has been plagued by gun violence for years [File: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters]
    Baltimore has been plagued by gun violence for years [File: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters]

    A Syrian refugee who fled to the United States more than three years ago has become one of the city of Baltimore's latest gun violence victims, US media reported this week.

    The Baltimore Sun reported on Tuesday that the killing of Khaled Heeba remains unsolved nearly two weeks after he died in Baltimore, Maryland. Heeba, 31, was on his last delivery route of the night before he was shot in the chest on a sidewalk.


    According to a crowdfunding page in his memory, Heeba planned on attending Friday prayers after his last delivery.

    "He was always concerned with our pleasure before his own. He'd work a long day and then come back and kiss my hands and feet and say 'Mama - be happy with me'. Wallahi I was always happy with him," Heeba's mother was quoted as saying on the crowdfunding site, which added that the 31-year-old was the sole provider for his family in the US.

    Heeba's death is one of more than 40 homicides the city has seen so far this year.

    He reportedly came to the US in 2016 after escaping Syria's civil war with his parents. 

    "He left his own country because it was a war-zone in Syria, just for him to end up getting murdered here," Theresa Birmingham, a coworker, told the Baltimore Sun, "He was just really a sweet guy."

    Police in a tweet described the suspect as about five feet, nine inches tall (1.75 metres) with a slim build and wearing all black clothing.

    Baltimore has been plagued by gun violence for years. 

    The city witnessed 348 homicides in 2018, according to the Baltimore Sun newspaper. That was up from 309 in 2018. 

    Of the 43 homicides documented by the newspaper's homicide database this year, at least 17 took place in February. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies