The family of an Edmonton man who was found dead over the weekend is demanding a south-side Edmonton bar be shut down.
On Friday, Mohamed (Mo) Abdi was at the Ranch Roadhouse with friends when he was told he had to leave. Abdi wasn’t wearing a jacket.
It wasn’t until Sunday afternoon when the frozen body of the 20-year-old was discovered nextdoor to the Ranch, under a vehicle in a car dealership parking lot.
“Why would they kick him out?” asked Abdul Abdulkadir, Abdi’s uncle.
“He hasn’t done nothing wrong. He is their customer. They used his money.”
“I would like to see that bar closed right away,” said Abdulkadir. “The owners have to take responsibility.”
Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) is investigating — a process the Ranch nightclub said it is cooperating with. The bar also said it launched a review of its own to see if staff could have done more.
“Our employees took many steps to ensure Mo’s safety, including ensuring he left our establishment in the hands of a capable friend,” said Jesse Kupina with the Ranch Roadhouse.
“Even with our efforts, this tragedy still happened. I am sorry.
“We are actively reviewing if there is more we could have done.”
Bryan Breda was with Abdi that night and said because his friend had a run-in with bouncers in the past, he felt Abdi had been unfairly singled out.
“They say he was too drunk,” said Breda. “All he was doing was leaning against the wall talking to these girls with my friend.”
Breda said Abdi and others went across the street to a gas station, but Abdi wandered off.
“Mo was just gone.”
Friends say they searched for Abdi, but eventually left the area thinking he was safe and on his way home. Now Breda can’t help but dwell on the what ifs.
“What if we didn’t go out? What if we went to a different bar?”
Abdi moved to Edmonton from Kenya when he was six years old. He graduated from Paul Kane High School in St. Albert. Friends described him as a stellar athlete and the “glue” that brought different groups together.
Shae Kelly spoke about being bullied through high school and said it was Abdi who stuck up for him.
“I was so grateful,” said Kelly. “He stood up for me. It was the most amazing thing anyone had ever done to me.”
Family said Abdi had just returned to Edmonton after spending a month in Kenya. He was preparing to finalize his application for the Canadian military.
Friends said Abdi’s generous spirit touched everyone he knew. Now they want to pay it back by helping his family. A GoFundMe page has been set up for funeral expenses.
More than 23,000 people have also signed a petition calling for the closure of The Ranch.
Friends and family said they plan to return to the bar on Friday night, a week after Abdi’s disappearance to protest the bar’s policy.
“They could have just called a cab,” said Abdulkadir.
“Now he’s just gone like that. It’s unbelievable.”
“We lost a bright young man, an intelligent, outstanding guy.”