By Kathleen Flynn
On May 23, 2008, I lost a friend of 23 years to a senseless crime. My friend, Vahid Hosseini, was only 47 years old when he died. Vahid was a son, a brother, a husband, a father of two beautiful daughters, a small business owner, and a beloved member of the community.
Vahid owned the Willow Market in San Jose, a few blocks from Bank of the West, on First Street. One day, Vahid went to the bank to withdraw money for his check cashing business. As he was leaving the bank, three men came up from behind, robbed him in broad daylight, shot him execution style, and left him to die in the parking lot. To my deep sadness, Vahid passed away from his gunshot wound on June 3, 2008.
I’m very proud to say that, thanks to the hard work and dedication of the San Jose Police Department, Crime Stoppers, and members of the community, police recently arrested five suspects involved in Vahid’s murder. The investigation of is still ongoing.
In an effort to honor the memories of my friend Vahid, Officer Jeffrey Fontana, victims of violent crime, their families, and the SJPD, I have organized a neighborhood safety vigil.
Please join us outside City Hall on Tuesday, June 9th, from 7 to 9 p.m. as we gather to support the silent majority of San Jose residents and our wonderful police department.
Speakers and honored guests will include:
- Dolores Carr, District Attorney of Santa Cara County
- Hon. Pete Constant, San Jose City Council
- Bobby Lopez, President, San Jose Police Officers’ Association
- Randy Sekany, President, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 230
- Jim Cogan, President, Crime Stoppers
- Sandy Fontana, mother of slain San Jose police officer Jeffrey Fontana
- Cassandra and LeeAnn Hosseini, Vahid's daughter and widow
There will also be a blessing delivered by Dr. Bonita Carter-Cox, President of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley, and Police Chaplin Bridgen.