After he buried his son on Monday, Sultan Ashley-Shah called on city officials to do more to halt the gun violence affecting African-American men in Philadelphia.
“We need more resources,” he said. “If we can find money to fund festivals, if we can find money to fund parades — but if we can’t find the resources and the money to stop the killings in our communities, something’s wrong with that picture, my friend.”
Ashley-Shah’s son, Nasir Sadat, and Sheriff Jewell Williams’ son, Jewell Williams Jr., were shot around 5:30 p.m. on Friday in the 3100 block of North 16th Street.
Sadat, 37, was shot multiple times in the back and neck, a police spokesman said. He was transported to Temple University Hospital, where he later died, police said.
The police spokesman would not reveal any details about Jewell Williams Jr. or additional information about the shooting. The investigation remains ongoing, the police spokesman said.
“The sheriff remains upset and concerned about his son,” said Dan Gross, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.
Ashley-Shah, who previously headed the North Philadelphia activist group Citizens United, Warriors for Justice.
Ashley-Shah, who buried his son on Monday, said Sadat’s murder “was a tragedy connected to the violence that’s taking place in our city — the killings, the shootings.”
“This is a sign of the times that it has to stop,” he said.
Homicides reached a 10-year high in 2018. As of Monday, there have been 166 homicides in the city, up 4% compared to this time last year, according to the police department’s website. African-American men account for the overwhelming majority of both shooting victims and homicide victims.
Sadat was “very smart” and a “quick learner” as a young child, according to a narrative of his life provided by his family.
He learned to count money at his aunt’s and uncle’s candy store in East Falls, and he “could count money so fast; a talent he took into his adulthood,” the family’s narrative said. “He loved to earn an honest dollar as a young kid, selling balloons and shoveling snow with friends from the neighborhood.”
Sadat attended Germantown High School where he played football well enough to earn full scholarships to several universities, the family’s narrative said. He chose to attend Western Illinois University, and earned bachelor’s degrees in sports management and social work.
Sadat was an entrepreneur who started a real estate and construction company as well as an entertainment group, among other ventures.
“Nasir always went hard with everything he set his mind to, he took no days off, chasing his ‘Bag,’ maximizing every minute of the day to build his empire,” the family’s narrative says.
Sadat was married to Jocelyn Berry, with whom he had three daughters, Iman, Farah and Nas.