Friends say Oakland homicide victim was generous, kind, father of four

As people answered the call to evening prayers Wednesday night, hearts were heavy at the Oakland Islamic Center, feeling the pain and loss of Belal Esa, a well-loved member.

"Learning that he is no longer here, it's just shocking," said Moussa Comara, Esa's friend.

Comara says Esa would collect food that nearby stores were throwing away and instead give them to those in need.

"Always a big smile, always talking smiling, making people comfortable around," said Comara, "He was always concerned about other people, not only with the Muslim community, but people outside the Muslim community, people that need help."

On Wednesday, bullet holes and shattered glass show where Esa was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting Monday night after coming from evening prayers at the nearby mosque.

A bouquet of flowers was left outside the building where Esa and another man, Asam Al-Awjri, 27, were shot, as people grieve for the father and prominent community member.

"Four kids. And I remember when his kids were tiny, and now they're grown to adulthood," said Comara.

Esa's family members say he had three sons and one daughter. Two of his sons attended U.C. Berkeley.

MORE: Video captures moment carload of shooters unload on victims in Oakland double homicide

"He was a kind person. Everybody say good things about him," said Ibrahim Abduadem, a friend from Alameda, "We are a peaceful community. We know each other. THis is a place to worship, and after we worship we hang out."

The violent shooting which also left a 19-year-old man injured has the entire community calling for justice.

Security cameras recorded the gunfire coming from a small white sedan that witnesses say had been parked down the block and then rolled by.

Police are asking for the entire Oakland community to help by sharing any cell phone or surveillance camera footage that might show the suspect's vehicle rolling through this or other parts of town.

Many people are also calling for more resources for the Oakland Police Department, which is understaffed.

Oakland police say they have had 91 homicides so far this year, and KTVU learned there are 15 police investigators assigned to handle those cases.

"These are senseless killings. Guy just went to the mosque to pray and getting ready to visit his family and that's his last day on earth? Because someone just wanted to take someone out?" said Cobara