'It's unfathomable': Lyft driver killed in DC served as Army interpreter in Afghanistan, friend says

An Army Special Forces veteran says he was shocked to find out that a man he served two tours in Afghanistan with was brutally shot and killed while driving in Northeast D.C. Monday. 

"He served this country — this country, not even his country — way more than I did and I’m a 27-year veteran and I have six tours," Matthew Butler told FOX 5. 

Nasrat Ahmad Yar, 31, was found shot to death in the 400 block of 11th Street Northeast just after 12 a.m. on July 3. 

The Lyft driver and father of four was a long-time interpreter for the U.S. Army, according to Butler.  He says the crime is even more heartbreaking considering the arduous journey Ahmad Yar faced in getting to the U.S. before his life was tragically cut short.

"I don’t have words for it. It’s unfathomable how senseless this is for somebody who came here for the express opposite reasons," Butler said. 

The Veteran told FOX 5 Ahmad Yar grew up by Bagram Airfield and worked for the U.S. Government for nearly 20 years, starting at age 10, doing small jobs before becoming an interpreter.

Butler described the urgency of trying to get Ahmad Yar and his family from safe house after safe house after the U.S. military pulled out of the country and the government collapsed. They were finally able to get the family to Philadelphia, then Ahmad Yar moved to Alexandria so he could be closer to the D.C.-Afghan community. Butler says he learned about Ahmad Yar’s death from a D.C. police detective. 

"Once your deployment is over, you’re in even more danger, than you were before because now you have nobody but yourself to defend – to defend yourself against the Taliban. That is really a huge sacrifice for somebody to make it. He was in a lot of danger in Afghanistan, so yeah, for him to come here and in less than two years after arriving in the States —  it’s really devastating," said Jeramie Malone, who also helped Ahmad Yar and his family escape Afghanistan. 

Butler and Malone created a GoFundeMe for Ahmad Yar, saying he was living the American dream, working as a tow truck and Lyft driver, so he could save enough money to have his own towing company.

Malone says one thing she wants everyone to know is how kind Ahmad Yar was, always willing to help others, and how proud he was of his service and to be here.

"Our hearts are with Mr. Nasrat's loved ones as they confront this unspeakable tragedy. We have reached out to his family to offer our support and are in contact with law enforcement to assist with their investigation," a spokesperson for Lyft said in a statement to FOX 5. 

As the investigation continues, new video showing four people — possibly teens — running away from the scene of the crime is providing a new lead.   

The recording from a security camera in the alleyway shows Ahmad Yar dropping off his customers on 11th Street Northeast. He then sits there parked with his hazards on for several minutes. That’s when a group of suspects surrounds the vehicle and moments later a single gunshot is heard before the suspects bolt.  

In that video, you can hear someone say, "you just killed him" and another voice replies, "he was reaching," more than once. 

No arrests have been made at this time. The Metropolitan Police Department is currently offering a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone that provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Ahmad Yar's death.