INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Reverend Martin Luther King Junior preached peace until he was felled by an assassin’s bullet.
Ammar Shatnawi and Wesam Sammour came to the United States in search of a better life.
All three men died violently and Monday, on the national holiday to celebrate the birth date of the apostle of non-violence, the friends of the middle eastern immigrants murdered January 4 will give away free lunches in an attempt to hold no ill will for their deaths inside an Indianapolis restaurant.
“We have literally a ton of chicken tomorrow, two thousand pounds of chicken wings,” said Sam Saadeh of Jordan’s Chicken, Fish & Gyros in the 7500 block of North Shadeland Avenue. “Everybody is welcome.”
It was early on the first Wednesday of the year when two hooded gunmen entered the Jordan’s Fish & Chicken near East 21 Street and Post Road, hopped the counter and killed the two men getting ready to close up for the night.
“These victims were not just two restaurant employees. They were brothers, sons, uncles, friends and classmates to a family and they were part of the community not only here in Indianapolis but back home in Jordan,” said Saadeh who then pulled out a text message from the victims’ family back home.
“’Wesam and Ammar had a future that was unrightfully taken from them,’” he read. “’There are two men who may even be listening to this right now…,’ and he’s talking about the guys who murdered them, of course.
“And tell these guys, these kids, whoever is doing this, ‘Hey, we are together, we’re going after you, we’re standing together.’”
Saadeh said Jordan’s has received letters and condolences from, “churches, mosques, individuals, businesses, corporations, everybody,” in support of the lunch giveaway.
“We’re trying to send a message to the public and a message to the community. We’re trying to have them stay together and stand together in tough times like this and stop the crimes in the community that’s increasing every day.
“We cannot be safe unless we stand together.”
IMPD is investigating whether the gunmen were involved in any other recent violent crimes.
The food giveaway will begin at noon and last until the final chicken wing is served.
“Those guys are just like any other immigrant in this country,” said Saadeh. “They just came here for better living and they’re very hard working men and we just want to be here in the community, be part of the community, create jobs
Saadeh can’t let himself wonder if the men who took his friends’ lives were customers before they were killer.
“You can never blame everybody,” he said. “You can never stereotype.”