The warning signs of domestic violence fell on deaf ears a year before the murder of a 10-year-old Buffalo, NY boy.
Young Abdifatah Mohamud called 911 twice last year, claiming his father was beating him. Child Protective Services was called at one point, and Abdifatah once came to Universal School with black eyes.
Principal Kathy Jamil said:
"The students, they've been saying, 'Maybe we should have said this' or 'Maybe we should have been asking more.' The staff also wonders what they could have done differently."
Jamil recalls a day in June of 2011, when Mohamud came to school beat up, saying:
"His lower forehead had been swollen and his eyes were swollen as well. And they were also blue and purple."
His stepfather, Ali Mohamed Mohamud, now accused of murdering the boy, insisted the bruising was a result of a fight on the bus with a much smaller boy. No one else saw the fight, though the boys were playfully horsing around.
After the boy came to school beat up, Child Protective Services began an investigation, but they wouldn't return calls on Wednesday to explain what they did or did not do to protect the boy.
Jamil noted, "It was very suspicious. But because the student had admitted to wrestling with him and pushing him, it was very possible that he had just got hit the wrong way on the window."
The boys and girls at Universal School are left with those troubling thoughts. Buffalo Police say they have launched an internal review on how they handled the 911 calls Abdifatah placed.