Vesel Kelmidi, center, father of Amiri Zeqiri, 17, walks around...

Vesel Kelmidi, center, father of Amiri Zeqiri, 17, walks around the site where his son was killed outside the Dunkin' Donuts where he worked. (March 1, 2010) Credit: James Carbone

Amiri Zeqiri was a hardworking student who immigrated to the United States as a toddler and dreamed of one day becoming an engineer, family members and friends said Monday.

Zeqiri's family spent Monday grieving the loss of the 17-year-old, who police have said died on Sunday night after falling into an open cesspool behind a Dunkin' Donuts where he worked.

Zeqiri's father, Vesel Zeqiri, said his son graduated a year early from Central Islip High School in 2009 and was attending Suffolk County Community College. Amiri Zeqiri, who would have turned 18 in two weeks, was especially interested in road engineering, his father said.

"It was very important to him to be a very good student," said Vesel Zeqiri.

He said his son was on track to finish a two-year SCCC program early and go on to Stony Brook University. Amiri Zeqiri took the job at Dunkin' Donuts as a way to earn extra money and because he believed it was important to work, his father said.

The teenager's passions included soccer, cars - especially BMWs - and attending mosques in Bay Shore and Westbury, family members said.

The Zeqiri family moved to the U.S. from Kosovo in 1994, Vesel Zeqiri said. Amiri Zeqiri is survived by brothers Bakim, 13, and Admir, 8, his father said.

The Zeqiri home, on a quiet cul-de-sac of two-story homes in Central Islip, became a meeting place for grieving friends and family Monday.

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