ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — A young man who was trying to stop his car from being stolen was gunned down in Arapahoe County, his family told FOX31.

The victim’s family said he heard someone messing with his car around 10 p.m. Tuesday. Ahmed Zainuldeen, 23, then went out to see what was happening at an apartment complex at East Harvard Avenue and Quebec Street.

“He saw these guys stealing his car. He starts running to stop them. When he gets closer to the driver’s door, they shot and killed him,” Mahmood Zainuldeen said.

Zainuldeen fought back tears as he spoke with FOX31 about his brother.

Ahmed Zainuldeen
Ahmed Zainuldeen was shot and killed by carjackers in Arapahoe County on Sept. 19, 2023. His family said they just moved to Denver from Iraq less than a year ago in search of a better life. (Credit: Ahmed Zainuldeen)

The spokesperson for the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office said deputies tried to save Zainuldeen’s life with CPR and a tourniquet at the scene of the shooting. It’s a shooting that has left many heartbroken.

“He simply went outside to try to find out what was happening with his car. Opens the car door, and he is shot and killed,” Arapahoe County Sheriff’s spokesperson Ginger Delgado said.

Carjacking suspects wanted

Investigators are asking for the public’s help finding the 2012 silver Hyundai Sonata with the Colorado license plate CLY-X69.

“It (the Sonata) has critical evidence investigators are seeking,” Delgado said.

Deputies in Arapahoe County are searching for four suspects wanted in a deadly carjacking. They took off in the victim’s vehicle, pictured here: a Hyundai Sonata. (Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office)

Cameras used to track down stolen vehicles captured the car after the deadly shooting.

“That’s shocking, to be honest. Stuff happens. But I haven’t experienced anything like that,” resident Kiera Allen said.

Ahmed’s brother said his brother would have turned 24 next month.

“I don’t know what’s going on. He was everything. Everything,” Mahmood Zainuldeen said.

Ahmed had come to Denver 10 months ago with his family and was from Iraq, looking for a better life and to live in a safe place. The family waited for years and went through the legal process before finding their home in Denver.

Investigators say finding this car is critical to finding the person who killed a young man who was loved by so many.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office said since Jan. 1, there have been four carjackings here and more than 800 motor vehicle thefts.

If you have any information about this case and that silver Sonata, you are asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 (STOP).