The Ethiopian community has taken on the mission of seeking justice for Gitem Desmissie. His family is still in Ethiopia and heartbroken, according to friends.

By Joseph Pleasant (WKRN) |

NASHVILLE, TN―Friends of an Ethiopian restaurant owner are asking for the public’s help to find the man who killed him one month ago Wednesday.

Gitem Demissie, 41, was shot and killed inside Ibex Ethiopian Bar and Restaurant in the 2500 block of Murfreesboro Pike, in Nashville on March 19.

One other person was in the restaurant when the murder happened but was unharmed.

Surveillance video of the attack shows a man lurking outside the business for about three to five minutes before walking into the bar and opening fire on Gitem Demissie. He shot the owner multiple times and left through the front door.

The witness told police the man did not say anything during the shooting. He described the killer as a slender man, light-skinned and about 5 feet 7 inches tall. The witness could not tell police the killers’ race.

“I hope the killer will be found one way or another and justice will be served,” friend Yirga Alem Belachew told News 2. “When something like this happens, we question ourselves and ask what we can do.”

Yirga immigrated to the United States 40 years ago and is a well-respected member of the close-knit Ethiopian community of Nashville.

Many people call her “mother” or “sister” because of her welcoming and nurturing nature.

Yirga said she met Gitem at the Ethiopian Orthodox Church where he worshiped.

“The community is disturbed, especially our children,” Father Mesfin Tesemma said. “I did not expect them to be as concerned, but they are horrified that something might happen one day.”

Continue reading this story on WKRN
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