Najeebat Sule, a former Nigerian beauty queen and doctorate student, has been shot dead while sitting in her car in front of her family’s home in Philadelphia, US.
Najeebat, 24, was reportedly killed as she was texting a friend in her Toyota shortly before 6pm on March 12, just steps away from her residence in the 8800 block of Frankford Avenue.
Her father, Adewale Sule, heard the gunfire and emerged from the house just in time to see the suspect fire the last of the shots at his daughter.
‘I saw the guy shooting my daughter. He shot the last round, and I pursued him,’ said the father. ‘He ran back to his car.’
She was immediately taken to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital, where she was pronounced dead about 30 minutes later.
However, three weeks after the murder which happened on March 12, the police are yet to effect arrests or identify the killers, leaving Najeebat’s family and friends searching for answers and scared for their own life.
“I can’t think of anything that would make anyone want to kill her,” Najeebat’s close friend, Habibat Magaji, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Magaji, who was among the last people to have seen Sule alive, said the two of them spent the night before together, eating snacks and watching Netflix together.
Her mother, Tawakalitu Sule, said she last heard from Najeet less than two hours before the shooting when her daughter asked her when she would be home.
‘All of my children have been crying every day because of their big sister. They miss her. I miss my daughter,’ she said in a report by Daily Mail.
Najeet is survived by her parents and two sisters. The family are currently staying at an undisclosed location over unspecified concerns for their safety.
Najeebat and her family migrated to Philadelphia from Nigeria in the early 2000s.
Sule had only recently earned a Master’s degree in public health from West Chester University and was pursuing a doctorate.
She was crowned a second runner-up at the Miss Nigeria International pageant in 2019.
‘Queen Najibat was an amazing young lady whose presence at the Miss Nigerian beauty pageant left a great ripple that continues to resonate,’ pageant organizers wrote on Facebook. ‘She was a breath of fresh air and her presence added a distinct touch that made the event memorable. She carried herself with great dignity and grace and her strength of character and approachability made her such a joy to work with.’
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