Lyft driver who was interpreter for U.S. in Afghanistan killed in D.C.
Police are investigating after a man who served as an interpreter for U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan was shot and killed in Washington, D.C. earlier this week.
The man, whom Washington, D.C. police identified as 31-year-old Nasrat Ahmad Yar, was found inside of a vehicle on the 400 Block of 11th Street in the northeastern part of the city on July 3. Police described him as a shooting victim, but did not provide further information.
D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services took him to a local hospital, but life-saving measures failed and Yar died, police said.
Home surveillance video shared by police captured four people fleeing the scene. Three are wearing dark clothing and one has on a white hoodie. One person can be heard saying, "You killed him! He was about to get out." Another responds with, "He was reaching, bro."
According to CBS affiliate WUSA9, Ahmad Yar had been working a late-night shift as a Lyft driver.
"He was so happy he got a new car because he could take care of his family," his best friend Rahim Amini told WUSA9. "His wife asked him to stay home but he said, 'I have to pay rent. I don't have that much money. I have to work.'"
Lyft confirmed to WUSA9 that Ahmad Yar was a driver on their platform, saying in a statement that they have "reached out to his family to offer our support and are in contact with law enforcement to assist with their investigation."
Ahmad Yar was a father of four who moved to Alexandria, Virginia, less than a year ago. He and his family left Afghanistan in 2021, after the fall of Kabul, and first lived in Philadelphia before moving to the D.C. area because they felt unsafe after Ahmad Yar was robbed at gunpoint in Philadelphia.
Retired Lt. Col. Matthew Butler told WUSA9 that the family had to leave Afghanistan because Ahmad Yar was considered a target for the Taliban because of his work helping U.S. forces.
"He was most certainly a marked man if he stayed," Butler told WUSA9. "He served this country a great deal more than I did. I did 42 months in combat but that was nowhere near what he had."
Butler said that he worked closely with Ahmad Yar during two of his deployments, and said that he helped him start the immigration process before the Taliban took over Afghanistan.
"You just don't have words to describe how you feel about someone who had given so much to his country, not as a citizen, but then comes here and experiences some of the worst behavior our country has to offer," Butler said. "The irony is really thick here."
A GoFundMe campaign has been organized to support Ahmad Yar's family. As of Friday morning, it had already surpassed its $75,000 goal. A local Afghan community group is also hosting a fundraiser for funeral costs and living expenses for Ahmad Yar's family, which has already fulfilled most of its $40,000 goal.
Police said they were offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Nar's killers.
Kerry Breen is a news editor and reporter for CBS News. Her reporting focuses on current events, breaking news and substance use.