‘Bad feeling’: Friend who drove victim to scene of deadly parking lot ambush heard murder trial
When Mohammed Siddiqui heard his friends were meeting with teenagers in Hamilton to settle a dispute after midnight on July 19, 2020, he had a “bad feeling”.
He didn’t know much about the fight, just that a 17-year-old couple were “chatting” to his friend Hamza Chaudry, who wanted to meet the kids to talk about the issue, Siddiqui said in court Thursday. He decided to drive his white BMW to Hamilton for “moral support”.
“I insisted on coming,” he said. “I had a bad feeling that something could go wrong.”
His “instincts” turned out to be right. The meeting in a Limeridge Road West car park turned into an ambush that would end with his friend (and Chaudry’s younger brother) Ali Mohummad stabbed to death. For hours, Siddiqui and his friends did not know what happened to Mohummad, who disappeared during the melee from the parking lot. His body was later found by police down a hill near the scene.
Hours later and now aware of the 19-year-old’s death, the friends would see a cellphone video of the incident shared widely on Twitter. Siddiqui said he passed out after seeing a video of Mohummad “running for his life”.
Siddiqui, now 20, said it was not until the next day that he saw the rest of the video which also included his own white BMW hitting two 17-year-olds. These teenagers are now on trial for second degree murder. They cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
They are not accused of having inflicted the fatal stab wounds, but are accused of having organized an ambush. Another 17-year-old charged with second-degree murder in May 2021 is on trial separately.
In court Thursday, Siddiqui acknowledged it was his car that hit the teens, but said he was not driving.
A number of facts are undisputed in the case. That includes it being Mohummad seen running in the video before he died, Crown aide Alannah Grady said, reading an agreed statement of facts. It is also agreed that the two teenagers on trial were at the scene at 310 Limeridge Rd. W. that night.
Siddiqui testified that he was at his family’s house in Milton on July 18 for an event for his sister’s wedding. Around midnight on July 19, he drove to Mississauga to drop off his girlfriend and he called Chaudry to see if he should meet. Soon after, he made the decision to join the group that was gathering in Hamilton.
He thinks he’s the last person to arrive in a school parking lot. Shortly after arriving, the friends drove to the Limeridge meeting place – an empty car park in the square, east of Garth Street – in at least five cars.
Mohummad sat in the front passenger seat of Siddiqui’s BMW, which followed behind Chaudry’s blue Mustang. Like other witnesses, Siddiqui described a group of 20 to 30 armed young men charging at them as they pulled into the parking lot.
Siddiqui said he got out of his car when he thought he saw Chaudry being stabbed. He said he left his car running. He said he was “jumped” by several guys who kicked and punched him outside his car.
He never saw anyone get in or out of his car, but said he saw “out of the corner of his eye” someone get run over with their car. Soon everyone ran and he jumped in his car – the door was left open – and drove away.
During cross-examination, defense attorney Jaimi Stephenson repeatedly suggested that Siddiqui never got out of his car, that he said someone else got into his car because he knew the impact had been captured on video. Siddiqui denied this.
Defense attorneys also asked him how much he talked about the case with friends and whether what others had told him influenced his testimony.
Siddiqui said he never talked about evidence with his friends because the police told them not to. The only discussions were with the police immediately after the ambush as they frantically searched for Mohummad, he said.
After initially leaving the parking lot for his safety that night, Siddiqui said he ran into Chaudry and another friend. They did not know where Mohummad was and realized his cell phone was still in Siddiqui’s car.
They returned to the parking lot and were quickly met by the police. After giving a statement to the police. Siddiqui said he spoke with girls (Chaudry’s girlfriend at the time and her sisters) who knew the Hamilton teenagers involved in the fight. He gathered photos from social media identifying the couple currently on trial and sent them to the police. His only motivation was to find his friend, he says.
The trial continues Friday.