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Deputies seize pickup sought in Tampa teen's hit-and-run death

Mostafa Mohammed Abdalla was killed by a hit-and-run driver sometime between 4 p.m. Sunday and 2:40 a.m. Monday, according to the Sheriff's Office. He was struck by a pickup while walking on Orient Road toward Hanna Avenue, deputies said.

Abdalla's family made a tearful plea to the public Wednesday in hopes that someone would come forward and identify the driver. The Sheriff's Office received a number of anonymous tips after the plea. The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been announced.

The teen had played basketball with friends and was walking from his family's mosque to their home at 7123 Kingsbury Court, said his 18-year-old sister, Mariam Abdalla.

A memorial will be held for Abdalla 3 p.m. Sunday at Sunset Memory Gardens near US 301, she said.

News that deputies may have caught whoever killed Abdalla spread quickly among those who knew him. On Friday, members of the Islamic Society of Tampa Bay spoke fondly of Abdalla.

They passed donation boxes in hopes of collecting $5,000 to build a well in Africa to honor Abdalla. Those who proposed the idea said they wanted to create something that would continue to do good deeds in his name. Ahmed Yousseff, 27, who knew Abdalla for nearly seven years, said every week for four years Abdalla and other mosque members prepared food for the homeless at a food kitchen.

"He was a very humble and a genuine person," Yousseff said. "He was the first to volunteer to hand out food during Ramadan. He was a big part of this community."

Mostafa 's father Mohammed Abdalla, 61, sang the call to prayer Friday, as he does every week, Yousseff said.

"He has been very strong," Yousseff said. "Only God knows how he is holding up."

Contact Jonathan Capriel at jcapriel@tampabay.com. Follow @jonathancapriel

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