Dr. Gulam Moonda’s loss is felt “by the entire community,” the man whom the Hermitage urologist raised as a son said Monday.

Dr. Faroq Moonda called his uncle a “perfect gentleman” who was the “most generous person I’ve seen.”

On May 13, 2005, Gulam Moonda was gunned down along the Ohio Turnpike by his wife’s lover in a lurid crime that captivated people in the Shenango Valley and beyond.

Now, Faroq Moonda, 33, said he wants to “focus on the positives” of his surrogate father’s life.

He and his wife are establishing a trust fund in Gulam Moonda’s name to help young people seek a medical education here, he said.

“This is our way of fulfilling his dream,” Afreen Moonda, 26, said. “Our way of saying, ‘Thank you’.”

Now that he’s gone, many won’t know the good things Gulam Moonda did quietly, like helping his fellow countryman come to America and supporting the Youngstown mosque where he worshipped.

The events surrounding the doctor’s murder caused “a lot of anger initially,” Faroq Moonda said during a press conference on his backyard deck in Poland, Ohio.

“He was most responsible for what I am today,” Faroq Moonda said.

He and his wife were about a half hour behind Gulam and Donna Moonda and Mrs. Moonda’s mother, Dorothy Smouse, on the turnpike.

They were to meet near Toledo that weekend, where Faroq and his wife were thinking about locating.

That changed about sunset, when Faroq and Afreen passed the gold Jaguar, stopped at an emergency turn-off, with Donna Moonda and Mrs. Smouse standing outside, near North Royalton, south of Cleveland, on that spring night.

“My wife noticed the car,” Faroq Moonda said, with the people he knew as his mother and grandmother standing on the side of the highway.

“I felt like I lost my mother at this time,” he said, after he learned it was she who had hired her lover, Damian R. “Kaos” Bradford, 26, of Center Township, Beaver County, to shoot Gulam Moonda.

“I thought of him as my father,” Faroq Moonda said.

A sense of closure has enveloped them since Friday, when Donna Moonda was convicted of plotting her husband’s murder.

“I’m relieved. It’s finally done,” Faroq Moonda said.

Since the murder, he said he’s felt “shell-shocked” by the developing story.

In India, where Gulam Moonda has two brothers and two sisters, the verdict was greeted with “mixed feelings,” Faroq Moonda said.

Some would like the widow to get the death penalty, others wouldn’t mind if she is sentenced to life in prison, he said.

Mostly, they want “closure,” he said.

Before that fateful day, Faroq Moonda said he didn’t sense trouble in the Moonda household, a place he spent three years before going away to college.

“There are always ups and downs in any marriage,” but his aunt and uncle “never spoke of divorce,” he said.

He was “very surprised” initially when he learned of Donna Moonda’s affair and her drug use.

He learned of those problems by reading newspapers, he said.

When Bradford testified at Mrs. Moonda’s trial, he mouthed the words “I’m sorry” to Faroq Moonda.

“To me it showed he had some regret,” Faroq Moonda said. “Maybe there is hope and he is a decent human being beneath it all.”

As they move on, the surviving Moondas hope to buy a proper tombstone for Gulam Moonda’s grave — something they hadn’t been able to do because Donna Moonda was the official next-of-kin.

“We already have a stone picked out,” Faroq Moonda said.

Recommended for you