Latest News

Slaying of popular teens stuns friends

Sarah Said was an avid tennis player known as a silly but bright student. Her 18-year-old sister, Amina Said, was often called "the girl with pretty eyes," friends say.

The girls were well-liked and made good grades at Lewisville High School. Their father was strict and rarely let them spend time with friends. When Sarah, 17, recently met a boy at her job, she told a friend that her father would kill her if he found out.

Friends are now rethinking the way they understood that turn of phrase.

The Said sisters were fatally shot Tuesday evening in their father’s taxi in Irving, police said. A capital murder warrant has been issued for their father, Yaser Abdel Said, who is accused of killing both girls.

Police say a domestic dispute may have led to the shooting, but investigators provided no details about the dispute or who was involved.

Yaser Abdel Said, 50, is considered dangerous and may be armed. He lived in Lewisville with his wife, two daughters and 19-year-old son, police said. No other family members were injured.

At about 11 a.m. Wednesday, SWAT team members from the Lewisville Police Department and the Denton County Sheriff’s Department converged on Yaser Abdel Said’s home.

They parked an armored vehicle in the driveway, posted barricades and stood watch for several hours, intermittently ordering anyone inside to exit and eventually firing tear gas grenades into the house.

SWAT team members stormed into the house shortly after 4 p.m., but no one was inside, police said.

"I hardly ever talked to him," neighbor Mike Rubio said of Yaser Abdel Said. "I’d see the girls waiting on the bus to go to school. I just can’t believe something like this would happen."

The shooting

A 911 cellphone call, made by one of the sisters at about 7:30 p.m., alerted Irving police to the shootings, but the caller was unable to tell police where she was. Officers were dispatched to the area of O’Connor Road and Riverside Drive, officials said, but they couldn’t find the girls.

An hour later, a witness reported seeing a suspicious vehicle in the 200 block of Las Colinas Boulevard, in the parking lot of the Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas.

"Someone walked by the vehicle and saw them inside," said David Tull, an Irving police spokesman.

The sisters were dead when officers found them in the vehicle, owned by Jet Taxi. Neighbors said Yaser Abdel Said worked as a taxi driver, but company spokesman Jeff Finkle said he did not work for Jet Taxi.

Investigators believe that Said abandoned his taxi in the parking lot.

"We don’t know if he got a ride or how he got away," Tull said.

Said’s only arrest in Tarrant County was in 2001, for unpaid traffic tickets in Euless, where the family lived at the time, according to Euless police.

The victims

On a MySpace profile registered to a Sarah Said of Lewisville, a photo depicts two teenage girls goofing around in funny hats. Sarah, a junior at Lewisville High School, and Amina, a senior, were outgoing and popular, friends said.

One friend said that it was well-known that the girls had a strict father who forbade them from hanging out with friends much of the time. The girl asked that her name not be used for fear of retaliation because the killer is still at large.

"Sarah’s personality was just silly, funny and just always happy," the friend said. "She loved to make the best grades and the highest grades out of her class. She and her sister both always had a smile on their faces."

The girls often traveled to Egypt with their family, and friends were fascinated by their exotic heritage. Amina was thinking of going to college and studying medicine, a friend recalled. Sarah was taking Advanced Placement and honors classes.

Friends have created two Facebook pages in memory of the girls, and more than 60 friends had joined as of Wednesday night.

Sorrow-filled remembrances of the girls began to pour in.

One teen recalled being an outlet for Amina’s troubles with boys and at home.

"Never in a million years would I have guessed this would ever happen to you," the teen wrote. "I know for a fact that you would have been successful in whatever you chose to be. I am so sorry you had to leave the world this way."

The suspect

Description: Police said Yaser Abdel Said is about 6-foot-2, weighs about 180 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a black turtleneck shirt/sweater, a brown coat and tan pants.

He is believed to be armed with a handgun, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Irving police at 972-721-2518.

  Comments