Slain Sacramento artist honored at state Capitol

  ·  Tom DuHain, KCRA   ·   Link to Article

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Hassan Alawsi gunned down in alleged hate crime

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —About two dozen people crowded into the office of Assemblyman Richard Pan on Wednesday afternoon to honor a Sacramento artist who was gunned down in an alleged hate crime.

Photos: Hassan Alawsi's work honored at Capitol

A brief ceremony was held on what would have been the 47th birthday of Hassan Alawsi, as several of his artworks were displayed on the office walls.

Watch report: Slain Iraqi-American artist honored at state Capitol

"We want to celebrate his life and the fact that he gave so much to our community," Pan said. "And we as a community need to come together to show our support."

The art included watercolors, acrylics, oils and pencil drawings of scenes in the United States and in his native Iraq.

"It was his wish for his art to live on forever, and he wanted to show the world his art," friend Fidette Conception said.

However, she said much of his work has left Sacramento, and is being sold in Paris by his brother and sister following Alawsi's burial in Iraq.

The artist was shot to death March 26 in the parking lot of a Home Depot store on Florin Road.

Jeffrey Caylor, 44, is now awaiting trial in connection with the homicide investigation.

Investigators said the shooting took place during a lengthy crime spree by Caylor and his girlfriend that included theft, home invasion robbery and assault.

Sacramento County sheriff’s detectives believe Caylor hated people of Middle Eastern descent.

Members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations attended the reception Wednesday.

"We do, as a community, have to remain vigilant against hate," said Basim Elkarra, the council executive director. "The Southern Poverty Law Center is currently watching at least five hate groups that work out of this area."

Alawsi’s artwork will be on display at Pan’s Capitol office, Room 6005, through July.