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Community holds vigil for man found dead in Alexandria park | News

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Community holds vigil for man found dead in Alexandria park

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- The Fairfax County community is still trying to figure out why a 42-year-old man had to die. Police say Khalil Aboumalik was killed over a few dollars in a robbery last month.

Dozens of people, many of whom didn't even know Aboumalik, turned out for a vigil Wednesday night at the park where his body was found.

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Twelve years ago, Aboumalik immigrated from Morocco, looking for the American dream.

He worked as a cook in restaurants, always sending money back to his family in Morocco.

"He's a very simple guy, always hoping. He doesn't have any enemies. He's always laughing and always wishing and dreaming," said Mohammed Sebti, Aboumalik's best friend.

Those dreams were cut short last month when the 42-year-old Aboumalik was killed during a robbery. Police arrested 19-year-old Michael Powell.

Aboumalik's body was found in Huntington Park in Alexandria. Wednesday's vigil was held in an effort to bring people from all walks of life together.

"Isn't that the beauty of this, why we bring people together in a prayer vigil like this? So that people of all faiths, all traditions, all ethnicities who make up a community, our neighbors, have a real chance to be neighborly," said Rev. Carolyn L. Boyd, Asst. Pastor at Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ.

While it took a tragedy to bring these people together, it did bring them together.

"I never met the guy in my whole life, but he was a father or a brother or a dad, he was something. And when somebody dies that way it hurts the whole neighborhood," said Dennis Arbuckle.

Powell, of Alexandria, is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Aboumalik. He is being held at the Fairfax County Detention Center without bond.

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