(10-09) 02:19 PDT LOS ANGELES (AP) --
An Islamic group and family members said Tuesday the killing of a Palestinian-American should be investigated as a hate crime.
Abdulla Mohammed Nimer, 54, was shot to death last week as he sold clothing door-to-door in his South Los Angeles neighborhood.
"Nothing will bring my father back but if this is a hate crime, I don't want it to happen to anyone else," said a statement attributed to one of Nimer's sons and released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Southern California chapter. The man's name was not released. Nimer has six children.
Police said the shooting the afternoon of Oct. 3 "appears to be an attempted robbery," said police spokesman, Officer Don Cox.
Nimer has been selling door-to-door several years, the Islamic group said.
He was walking back to his car when a gunman and an accomplice demanded he give him his keys, then fired a round at his abdomen, Cox said.
No arrests were immediately made.
Nimer's family and friends have offered a ,000 reward.
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the state has opened a toll-free telephone hotline -- (866) 460-HELP -- that gives hate crime victims immediate access to state Fair Employment and Housing counselors who can tell them of services available and refer them to their district attorneys, if necessary.
Statewide, dozens of hate crimes directed at people of, or perceived to be of, Middle Eastern descent have been reported and are under investigation.
In San Diego County, Swaran Kaur Bhullar, 51, a Sikh, said she was attacked by two men who stabbed her twice in the head and threatened to kill her by slitting her throat. In Fresno County, Abdo Ali Ahmed, 51, a Yemeni-American Muslim, was shot and killed at his Reedley convenience store after receiving a death threat and several racial slurs.
In Orange County, a number of Arab-American businesses in Anaheim were vandalized. Police caught three teen-age boys hurling a skateboard through the window of Sinbad Ranch market. In Los Angeles County, 47-year-old Gerard Pimentel of Lancaster was chased and beaten by two men who shouted anti-Middle Eastern slurs at him. Pimentel is Hispanic. At Pierce College in the San Fernando Valley community of Woodland Hills, a fight broke out after two people wrote "die" on a Persian (Iranian) Club booth.