Family prays for answers after 79-year-old man killed in hit-and-run

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CLEVELAND (WJW)--A family is praying for answers, while police search for a driver who struck and killed a man, then kept going. Detectives released video that shows the moments leading up to the fatal crash.

Loved ones said 79-year-old Mohammed Younus Ali always wanted to help somebody and bring people together.

"We want the person who did it to step forward. My dad was a very giving man, he was a very forgiving man," said Osman Ali, his son.

Video from an RTA bus shows Ali on his way to Friday prayer at a mosque on East 99th Street in Cleveland just before 1 p.m. on Jan. 3.

"All the time, he is smiling and he said, 'Thanks be to God.' For everything, he said thanks God," said Shameem Ali, his wife.

Mohammed Ali is seen getting off the bus at East 99th Street and Superior Avenue. The camera does not capture the moment he gets struck by a car while walking in the crosswalk on Superior.

"What the witnesses said was that, the individual ran, hit him, dad went on the hood and then the person stopped. And then once dad fell, he ran over him and continued to go," said his son.

Cleveland police said they believe a small, dark blue vehicle seen stopped at the light is the car that struck him.

"There were either shells or stars in a pattern on the back of the car. I'm not sure, it seems pretty distinctive," Osman Ali said.

"This is very bad, very, very bad... We're married 55 years, 56 would be Sept. 24," Shameem Ali said.

Mohammed and his wife moved to the United States from India 47-years ago. He was an electrical engineer for the U.S. Coast Guard for more than 37 years, almost ready to retire.

"Good husband, good father, very good son and very good brother," Shameem Ali said.

Ali’s family describes him as a man of faith, who prayed six to seven times a day, a hard worker who never judged others and a man who always wanted to bring people of different backgrounds together.

"At his funeral, people were commenting about how diverse and, people from all walks of life were there. And he was sort of a unifier…Our focus now is in trying to figure out why this happened, how could we prevent something like this from happening again," his son said.

Mohammed Ali was a father of five and grandfather of eleven. His family wants to thank two people who stopped to help him and give investigators information about the car.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information that can lead them to a suspect. Mohammed's family is putting an additional $10,000 in hopes of catching the person behind the wheel.

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