Library Assistant Killed in Harlem

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Bwog has recieved tips that a Law Library technical assistant was shot and killed Tuesday night by suspects still at-large. Malik Murray was at the Aroma Chinese Restaurant on West 125th Street, according to reports from the Spectator and the New York Daily News.

Funeral services were held for Malik at Washington Memorial Park at 12:30 this afternoon. Our condolences go out to those close to Murray. Bwog will continue to post developments on this story as they emerge.

UPDATE May 11th, 2008:

Bwog received an email from Faatimah Smith-Murray, the ex-wife of Malik Murrah and mother of his seven year old son. Smith-Murray has provided her own account of what happened one year ago, which we’ve included below:

“Malik had just finished teaching an aikido class at Columbia and rode is bike to the New Aroma Chinese food restaurant around 11:35 p.m. When he got there, his neighbor (a woman) was in an argument with the Spanish delivery guy. Malik was trying to calm her down, but she had already called her son and told him she was agruing with the Spanish delivery guy. When her son and his friend got to the store, they asked “where is the Spanish guy you was arguing with?” The woman said, “he left, but this guy over here was popping junk!” (referring to Malik) The boys started pushing Malik around then left the store. Malik went to the door way to  make sure the Spanish delivery guy got away. The friend of the woman’s son shot 5 times into the store, shooting Malik 3 times in the torso.

The 17 year old boy that shot Malik surrender himself to the police a few days after the shooting. He’s still in jail waiting trial, which should commence at the end of this month.

Malik was a wonderful father to our son, Muhammad. There’s not a day that goes by that Muhammad doesn’t ask about his “ba ba” (African for father). They used to spend every weekend together, they had a VERY close father and son bond. Malik is GREATLY missed by all who knew him.”

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  1. ...  

    Bwog, all the posts on the main page have a URL fragment as the first line.

  2. That

    That the Spec immediately identified this guy as a devoted Muslim was a little tacky--over politicizing a real tragedy.

    • That  

      That you think being identified as a Muslim is a politicizing gesture is ludicrous. He was a Muslim. It was who he was. That's nothing he'd want to hide, even in death, and that's how people knew him. That you think someone's identity is something to hide is also a tragedy.

  3. fm104

    We are trying to get more information so that we can reach out and do something for Malik's family. He has one son who is 7-8 yrs. old

    I can't bring myself to write about Malik in the past tense, so please excuse the liberty I am taking writing in the present. For those of you who did not know him that well I wanted to share a little with you, that if you had the opportunity, you surely would have discovered on your own.

    Malik is a good decent man, learned, open and full of surprises both on and off the mat. He is a devoted and loving father and man of god. He is a native New Yorker, a musician, a scholar of martial arts, of Islam as well as other religious traditions whose beliefs are very different from those of his faith. I am lucky to know him and spend time with him both on and off the mat now over 8 years. He is a dedicated martial artist and I learned from our exchanges, which rarely involved actual martial arts techniques, but more likely martial arts trivia. When we were not talking about Sonny Chiba, we conversed about his faith and how it affected his life on a practical level. Malik observed Moslem traditions, he fasted, he made the pilgrimage to Mecca and more importantly he shared his knowledge without excuse or defensiveness about his choice to convert to Islam when he was a younger man. He is the techie gadget king and you could see him coming not just for his robes, but also the flashing blue lights and beeps and whistles coming from the many devices & gizmos he carried, some fresh from the factory in Japan cause he couldn't wait for them to reach the US market.

    But what I know of him, what he showed me always and shared was not just his knowledge or strong opinions but his willingness to listen, to engage and to learn and grow. He is a life long learner, whether it is his faith & religion, music (he was an accomplished musician, African drums) law research, martial arts practice, theory, legends & folklore, languages, pop music (he is a great dancer)... the list goes on. Malik is a work in progress and an example of learning, flowing... through Aikido I saw him grow, expand and even get stuck from time to time and then grow again... its part of the process we discover together... His friendship is a gift from Aikido as I don't think I would have had the opportunity to meet him otherwise. He is a decent human being and an eccentric in his own right when it came to some things and he never failed at surprising me with something that I would never have guessed about him.

    I see him talking energetically at the back of the van going to winter camp revealing little known facts from his trips to Senegal with doctoral students then driving and getting us home safe and sound on the return. I see him sitting down to eat at one our Tuesdays at the Columbia Cottage and getting his whole meal to go because his wife and son were waiting... I see him leading the electric slide at the winter camp party then fervently denying that he dances... I see him showing and telling about his newest bokken and jo acquisition made of some of the hardest heaviest cherry wood in its fancy case... I see him picking up his wool hat off the mat after Gary sensei's kotegaish loosened it from its perch atop his head... I see him assembling his robes in the men's room after a good practice... I see him tying his hakama for the first time at Kokikai (he wore it at other times when he practiced at other 'not to be mentioned' places :)

    He is a friend and I feel his absence deeply and am grieving his sudden departure from us and not being able to say goodbye. My heart grieves for his son and his wife, who like us, must now be consoled in remembering and honoring his life, his presence and the lasting effect of how he lived and forgiving the senseless way in which he was taken.

    I am missing my friend and pray that he is in a better place maybe even playing his drums and doing the electric slide, watching over us as we practice and grow.

    We are that much poorer for his absence.

    Peace to us, his son and family and to him, may he now rest.

    We love you Malik

    • If you do a

      If you do a campus-wide fund-raiser (and you should, we protect our own) wait until after the fall semester starts. There's too much stuff going on now. Try asking the office of the president and some of the higher-ups at the library.

    • Fred Little

      Malik was a respected member of Bond Street Dojo and we greatly regret his loss.

      A group of nine members, including the dojo's most senior aikidoka, made the trip out to the Al-Khoei Islamic Center for Thursday nights memorial prayers, others attended his funeral on Friday.

      Discussions have also begun among Bond Street members about how to assist his surviving family members, particularly his son, and we would welcome the opportunity to work with others to do so.

  4. Anonymous  

    I knew Malik through the MSA. All of the Muslims on campus who regularly came to prayer or iftaars did. His presence was very much as fm104 has described it, eclectic, warm, and ever dedicated to faith and family.
    8 Columbia Muslim students and 1 Teacher's College professor were all also at the Thursday night prayers in Queens. The MSA has started raising funds for a small contribution to his family, and is looking to know how to get involved in any larger effort. If you have any interest in helping our efforts, or if you know of any way we can channel our collected funds for their benefit, please email [email protected]

  5. Kirkegaurd

    Columbia Spec is vile vile vile. These bloodsuckers are all the same. Please tell all the mainstream media to stop harrassing and taunting the Vtech kids! They'll print stories about how the kids just want to be left alone, but then they are the only ones who won't leave them alone! It's gross. The press should be imprisoned for milking tragedy to no end and leaving the giant elephant-stone in in the room unturned. (HINT: it's starts with NINE and ends with ELEVEN)


  6. why?

    why was he shot? He sounds very docile. Was he targetted for being a Muslim?

  7. Brandon County  

    I passed Malik on the street a few weeks ago. But you can never only pass Malik on the street. You want to slow down, to stop, to visit and share and talk with the wonderful person that he is. Of course that is what I did, with great pleasure. And he shares this philosophy as much as he inspires it.

    You are missed Malik.

    Noppalikul ci jàmm, Malik. Am na jàmmu Yàlla, sama xarit.

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