Primary suspect arrested in 4 Muslim men murdered in Albuquerque, New Mexico in what was feared to be targeted attack, with first killing occurring in November.
The last victim, Naeem Hussain, 25, was killed hours after attending a funeral for two of the recent victims, Aftab Hussein, 41, and Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27. He was shot in the parking lot of a group that provides resources to asylum seekers and refugees, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
Hussein was shot and killed near his home on July 26, while Muhammad Afzaal Hussain was also fatally shot near his home on August 1. The first victim linked to this case, Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, was shot in a halal supermarket parking lot in November 2021.
Naeem Hussain, Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, and Hussein are Pakistani, while Ahmadi was from Afghanistan. All four men are Muslim, with speculation that all four victims were targeted as a result of their faith.
‘As with the previous three murders we mentioned on Thursday, there’s reason to believe this death is related to those shootings,’ Albuquerque police chief Harold Medina said after Naeem Hussain was killed.
— Katy Tur Reports (@KatyOnMSNBC) August 9, 2022
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
Muslim community left on edge
On Tuesday, Medina announced on Twitter that they have detained a suspect after tracked down the vehicle believed to be involved in a recent murder of a Muslim man in Albuquerque. The driver was detained as the primary suspect for the murders.
Additional details were not provided, but a news conference is scheduled.
‘We hope their swift action brings an increased sense of safety for so many who are experiencing fear from the recent shootings,’ Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement.
The homicides had gained national and international attention and had put the Muslim community on edge. It remained unclear how or why the victims came to be targeted.
The community has ‘never gone through anything like this before,’ Ahmad Assed, president of the Islamic Center of New Mexico, said during a local press conference, over the weekend, KOAT reported.
‘This is really a surreal time for us. We’re in fear of the safety of our children, our families,’ Assed said.