Family of Roxbury store clerk on life support arrives from Bangladesh to visit his bedside

“I hope I get to see everyone and thank them for what they are doing for my family."

Tanjim Siam
Tanjim Siam –Boston Convenience Store Owners Association

With help from local politicians, a convenience store owners group, and a television reporter, the family of a 21-year-old Roxbury store clerk hospitalized in a coma has arrived in Boston from Bangladesh to visit him bedside three weeks after he was shot in the head during a robbery.

Tanjim Siam, now on life support at Boston Medical Center, where two bullets remain lodged in his head, was slated to have his mother, Monowara Begum Moni, and his father and two brothers at his side after the family arrived Monday by way of a 30-hour trip, Boston 25 News reports.

Their arrival follows a long process of securing passports and visas, as the family worked to make it to the United States over the past several weeks in hopes of seeing Siam.

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Boston 25 News Reporter Malini Basu is in frequent contact with the family, speaking to them in Bengali. Basu and Humayun Morshed, of the Boston Convenience Store Owners Association, spent hours on the phone with Moni, 39, and the Emirates airline Saturday to secure a flight out of Dhaka, Bangladesh, according to the news station.

Basu said getting seats on a plane was “nearly impossible.”

The coronavirus pandemic complicated the process of securing the necessary approvals to travel. Basu wrote on Twitter Friday that Siam’s uncle planned to take a 30-minute rickshaw ride Friday to receive the family’s COVID-19 negative test results, which were needed for them to board a plane.

“Getting a flight out of Bangladesh is not easy, as we spent hours on the phone booking a flight,” Basu wrote in a tweet Saturday. “This would be the family’s first time flying.”

Siam was shot by a gunman during a robbery the night of July 14 at M&R Convenience store on Shawmut Avenue.

According to store owner Abdul Matin, Siam gave the robber whatever he asked for before the man brought Siam to a back room and shot him in the head. No arrests have been made.

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The BCSOA has said Siam arrived in the U.S. from Bangladesh and started his job at the store just four months before the shooting. Siam came to Boston in hopes of pursuing his education, his mother said last week.

As Siam’s family planned their trip and embarked on their travels to see him, the Boston region has rallied around the store clerk, raising over $51,000 as of Tuesday morning in a GoFundMe campaign launched by the store owners association. The proceeds are intended to help support the family, to whom Siam was sending money before he was shot.

“This family needs all the support they can get emotionally, and financially,” reads an updated post on the fundraiser’s page.

Moni told Boston 25 News she is thankful for the help of senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey and other local officials in getting her family to the U.S.

“I hope I get to see everyone and thank them for what they are doing for my family,” said Moni, who planned to visit the hospital Tuesday.

According to the news station, Moni doesn’t know what she can expect to see when she arrives at Siam’s bedside, but believes her son will show her some sort of response when she holds his hand.

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