Hanover Sheriff: Victim started blaze at gas station intentionally

Hanover Sheriff: Victim started blaze at gas station intentionally
Zaheer Mazhar (Source: Family photo)
Zaheer Mazhar (Source: Family photo)

MECHANICSVILLE, VA (WWBT) - The Hanover Sheriff's Office is now confirming the man found dead in a massive car fire Monday night, took his own life.

Investigators say Zaheer Mazhar, 37, poured gallons of gasoline into the interior of his car, and lit a flame, at the BP gas station off the Mechanicsville
Turnpike.

Crews found Zaheer's body in the back seat of his charred car.

Zaheer's wife, Gulshan Mazhar, and their two children are now struggling to come to terms with his shocking loss. Gulshan did see the surveillance video and is now asking why.

Investigators described what they say surveillance video shows moments before Zaheer's car erupted into a fireball at the gas station where he worked.

They say Zaheer authorized $200 worth of gasoline and grabbed a lighter. He pumped over 20 gallons into the interior of the car, and on the ground. Detectives say Zaheer sat in the back seat, and lit a flame. The car was immediately engulfed in flames.

Gulshan was shattered when she learned the crippling way her husband passed.

"He was a very soft, very loving husband," said Gulshan.

NBC12 spoke to Gulshan shortly before investigators revealed to the family, and then the public, the grim way Zaheer died.

Gulshan says her husband called her, just as he was leaving work that night, asking about the children.

"I'm much worried. I'm much insecure," continued Gulshan. She and Zaheer immigrated from Pakistan. The couple cares for their two young children at their Henrico apartment.

Gulshan says Zaheer worked multiple jobs to support his family and send money back to relatives in Pakistan.

"He worked very hard, 16-, 18-hour (days) to give a better life to his father, his brothers, his sisters. He worked very much, very hard," described Gulshan.

However, Gulshan says Zaheer seemed to be under inflated stress in recent weeks. "He was having stress in these past two, three months. But in this month, he was so much stressed."

Now Gulshan is facing the world alone, supporting two children without any immediate source of income, while mourning the loss of the man she loved.

"I feel so much insecure for myself and my kids," the mother said.

The Hanover Sheriff's Office is asking everyone to keep Gulshan Mazhar and her children in their prayers.

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