Unknown gunmen ambushed Hassan, director of the Shabelle Media Network, as he was entering his home and shot him five times in the head and chest, according to local journalists. The murder occurred around 6:30 p.m. in the government-controlled Wadajir District of the capital, Mogadishu, according to the same sources.
Police announced the arrests of four suspects, two of whom they said matched the descriptions given by eyewitnesses to the killing. A few hours before the murder, a man claiming to be a businessman entered the station's offices and spoke to Hassan about an advertising contract, according to his colleagues. The man was allegedly overheard asking Hassan about the time and manner in which he got home and requested a meeting with him, Shabelle's head of development and international relations, Ali Dahir Abdi, told CPJ.
Nicknamed "Fantastic," Hassan was the producer and presenter of three major news programs: a daily news analysis program called "Diirada," a monthly investigative magazine, and a call-in program, according to Ali. In recent weeks, he had aired investigative reports detailing alleged corruption at Mogadishu's seaport and in the Banadir regional administration, Ali said.
Information Minister Abdulkadir Hussein condemned the murder in a statement and called the Shabelle Media Network "one of the most important and pioneering media houses serving the country." He said police were investigating and would "not leave a stone unturned," according to news reports. The African Union offered to assist the government in its investigation, AU spokesman Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda said in a statement.
Hassan, who was in his mid-30s, is survived by a wife and three children, according to Ali.