Click photo to enlarge
Sultan Rashed's family remembers him always smiling and being happy.

BRATTLEBORO >> Police say their investigation revealed Sultan Rashed, 35, did not commit suicide but died from gunshot in a manner believed to be homicide.

"Investigation suggests this is not a random act," a press release stated. "While no one is in custody, nothing in the investigation thus far suggests any specific threat to the general public."

The incident is still under investigation by the Brattleboro Police Department and the Vermont State Police. Police ask anyone in contact with Rashed on Sunday or Monday to call either agency.

The investigation began after Brattleboro officers were called to Old Ferry Road on Monday morning for a medical emergency. There, officers found a man deceased in a vehicle and did not release his name until late Monday night.

Rashed's wife Sheena described him as a wonderful husband and father, "the greatest."

"He was a great friend and a great provider," Sheena said. "He loved and protected his family. He would never think that they would want to be alone."

Sheena told the Reformer she could not think of funeral arrangements yet and that she had never been through anything like this before.

"There's nothing to measure how much he'll be missed," she said. "He was a strong man. He always held it together. He was a strong backbone for the family."

At age 16, Sultan moved in with his brother Ahmad Rashed and sister-in-law Kat Rashed, Ahmad's wife. Sultan attended Brattleboro Union High School and played soccer for the Colonels.


Sultan and Sheena began dating and eventually moved in together. Later, they got married and had a son.

"(Sheena) really loved Sultan and Sultan really loved his family," Kat said. "He was loved. Everybody liked him. Just a happy-go-lucky, really nice guy. Lots of energy."

Early on, Sultan found a job with Lane Construction. Kat said her brother-in-law was excited to have work through this winter, when most employees are laid off.

Kat said Sultan would volunteer at her family's West Brattleboro business, Rashed's Garden Center, selling trees to benefit the Reformer Christmas Stocking or coming in when their children weren't around to help.

Kat and Ahmad's two sons are now adults. Sultan was "like an older brother" to them, Kat said.

Sultan loved the Boston Red Sox and the Patriots. After Sunday's football game, he called Ahmad just before 6 p.m.

"Then we never got to talk to him again," said Kat. "He was optimistic and he was happy. He loved his son. He used to work his schedule around doing things with his son. He would ride his motorized four-wheeler around his property because our property was big enough for it. He loved his father so much. The whole family is pulling together. Sheena will not be alone in this and we will keep encouraging the police to investigate who killed him."

Kat said she never met someone with something bad to say about Sultan. She couldn't believe anyone would want to harm him.

"We love him. We still love him. We won't stop loving him. We'll do anything possible to make sure the police find whoever has done this," said Kat, whose husband was still in denial. "(Ahmad) can't believe his little brother is dead."

Like Sheena, Kat remembers Sultan always smiling and happy. If someone was down, he would joke around and act "goofy" to get a laugh out of them.

"He's not here and we have to find out why and who did this to him," Kat said, pleading with people to come forward with any information. "Sheena's going to have a hard time and people need to support her and try to help her. If they know anything, even if it's just a little, they should tell police. Where? If somebody was in his vehicle? That's his wife's car. That was the car his son rides in. Somebody had to have seen something. This is a small town. Help us inform the Brattleboro or state police and solve this and stop this person, whoever killed him, from doing it to someone else."

Contact Chris Mays at or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.