‘Don’t Shoot Me’ is the new single from Ari Pappalardo, released today in memory of his friend Soheil Antonio Mojarrad, who was shot in April 2019. Today, 24 February, would have been Soheil’s 33rd birthday.
Ari Pappalardo, also from Raleigh, is a musician whose emotive vocals will stir even the hardest of hearts in ‘Don’t Shoot Me’. The instrumentals, primarily electric guitar and drums, help to convey the sincerity and heartfelt earnestness of the lyrics.
The song graphically tells the story of Soheil’s last day, and the echoing refrain of “don’t shoot me, I’m unarmed” is sure to stick in your mind long after the song is over.
‘Don’t Shoot Me’ is accompanied by a music video featuring Soheil’s friends and family, as they protest his death, wearing shirts bearing his image, plus performance footage of Ari singing at “Soheil’s Festival Of Love”.
Soheil’s unlawful killing, which occurred in Raleigh, North Carolina, is believed to have occurred due to a case of mistaken identity, the police officer involved was on the look out for an individual who had robbed someone at a gas station; to his mind Soheil fit the witnesses’ description. The policeman alleged that Soheil, who had a history of mental illness following a traffic accident several years before his death, pulled out a small folding knife when approached, but there is no video footage or any other evidence to support this claim. Officer Edwards’ bodycam wasn’t activated, nor did his patrol car manage to record anything of the event. Additionally, there was no recording from any of the private security cameras in the nearby shopping centre. Witnesses however claim that they heard more than a dozen gunshots.
Speaking after the event, Mojarrad’s family said,
“We continue to grieve the loss of our beautiful son and brother. Soheil wanted the best for himself and everyone, and would never intentionally want to hurt anyone. Sadly, like many others, he suffered from mental illness. He was an incredibly good person. We believe he died a wrongful death, and will continue to fight for justice on his behalf. We are sincerely grateful for those who have shown us so much compassion during this difficult time.”
Their attorney added,
“Officer Edwards does not appear to have followed proper procedures, including the activation of his body camera and the appropriate escalation of force. The officer was unjustified in shooting Soheil, and this young man unnecessarily lost his life.”