Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico, identified the man suspected of killing four Muslim men in the city as Muhammad Syed, 51.
So far, Syed is charged with killing Aftab Hussein, 41, on July 26, and Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, on Aug. 1. Cops said they are working with local prosecutors on potential charges in the Aug. 5 murder of Naeem Hussain, 25, and Nov. 7 murder of Mohammad Zaher Ahmadi, 62.
Photo released of suspect in Albuquerque murders of Muslim men pic.twitter.com/Nvc2oXO27i
— Steve Lookner (@lookner) August 9, 2022
Syed drove a Volkswagen Jetta that was used in at least one of the murders, police said. Investigators said they linked the Aftab Hussein and Muhammad Hussain killing because of bullet casings at the respective scenes. They said they found the murder weapon when searching Syed’s home overnight.
“Detectives discovered evidence that shows the offender knew the victims to some extent and an interpersonal conflict may have led to the shootings,” cops said.
Ahmad Assed, president of the Islamic Center of New Mexico, said that authorities told him the suspect, a Sunni Muslim, was mad about his daughter marrying a Shia Muslim, according to The New York Times. He and cops reportedly noted, however, that the details on this remained sketchy. At least one of the victims was Sunni, Assed said. The Islamic Center of New Mexico is a mosque where at least three of the victims attended.
NEW: Albuquerque Police arrest 51-year-old Muhammad Syed, charged with the homicides of Muhammad Afzal Hussain and Aftab Hussein. pic.twitter.com/R0ZZBAbDU3
— Anam Siddiq (@anamsiddiq) August 9, 2022
Our original story is below.
An Arizona police chief announced on Tuesday that officers arrested a “primary suspect” in the separate murders of four Muslim men. Though cops have not suggested a motive as of yet, they highlighted the victims’ religious background and noted they were each from South Asia — either Pakistan or Afghanistan.
“We tracked down the vehicle believed to be involved in a recent murder of a Muslim man in Albuquerque,” Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said. “The driver was detained and he is our primary suspect for the murders. We will update the media later this afternoon.”
Police have said that they believe four murders of Muslim men dating back to Nov. 7 could be connected.
Albuquerque police are investigating whether the ambush-style killings of four Muslim men over the past nine months are connected. The latest suspected murder occurred on Aug. 5. @LawCrimeDaily pic.twitter.com/k9efXFoYXM
— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) August 9, 2022
Going in chronological order, Mohammad Zaher Ahmadi, 62, was killed that Nov. 7 outside of a business that he and his brother ran at 1401 San Mateo Blvd., N.W., cops said. He was from Afghanistan.
Aftab Hussein, 41, was killed on July 26, officers said.
Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, died on Monday, Aug. 1.
Hussein and Hussain were both killed in Southeast Albuquerque, near Central Avenue, officers said. Both were from Pakistan.
FULL STORY: Naeem Hussain was the 4th Muslim man to be shot to death in ABQ in the past nine months. He was killed, while on the phone with his fiancee, hours after attending the funeral for two of the other men. Photos: @LiamDebonis and @BushChancey https://t.co/iu26oyeqiH pic.twitter.com/u7kaWHCY6x
— Elise Kaplan (@EliseKapNM) August 7, 2022
I unequivocally condemn the heinous killings in NM of Mohammad Ahmadi, Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, Aftab Hussein, & Naeem Hussain. My deepest condolences to their loved ones, and to the entire Muslim community that is feeling the pain of these acts of hate. https://t.co/ovEWGvUHPD
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) August 8, 2022
Then on Friday, just before midnight, officers responded to reports of a shooting in the area of Truman Street and Grand Avenue, cops said. A man was found dead. He was later identified as Naeem Hussain, 25, who is originally from Pakistan.
Local business owner Mula Akbar said Naeem had attended Hussein’s and Hussain’s burials, according to Reuters.
Police have previously said Ahmadi, Hussein, and Hussain were ambushed.
“I am angered and saddened by the horrific killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque,” President Joe Biden wrote Sunday. “While we await a full investigation, my prayers are with the victims’ families, and my Administration stands strongly with the Muslim community. These hateful attacks have no place in America.”
In seeking a suspect, Albuquerque cops on Sunday released images of a “vehicle of interest.”
WANTED: APD releases photos of a vehicle of interest in the shootings of 4 Muslim men. If you have any information about this vehicle please contact Crime Stoppers at (505)-843-STOP. pic.twitter.com/1h0vUvtbSg
— Albuquerque Police Department (@ABQPOLICE) August 7, 2022
Now cops say they found the car.
We are grateful for the unified effort of our state, federal, and @ABQPOLICE officers who made strong progress in the investigation. We hope their swift action brings an increased sense of safety for so many who are experiencing fear from the recent shootings. https://t.co/8m1ZBjQTZ1
— Mayor Tim Keller (@MayorKeller) August 9, 2022
Note: We added information on the suspect.
[Image via Albuquerque Police Department]
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