New Mexico police detain suspect in killing of Muslim men

New Mexico police on Tuesday detained a man whom they said is their primary suspect in the fatal shootings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque over the past nine months, killings that have shaken the Islamic community in the state's largest city.


Reuters | Updated: 10-08-2022 02:03 IST | Created: 10-08-2022 02:03 IST
New Mexico police detain suspect in killing of Muslim men

New Mexico police on Tuesday detained a man whom they said is their primary suspect in the fatal shootings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque over the past nine months, killings that have shaken the Islamic community in the state's largest city. Police tracked down a vehicle of interest in their investigation of the murders, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina wrote on Twitter. The latest killing involved a man who was gunned down on Friday night.

"The driver was detained and he is our primary suspect for the murders," Medina wrote. He said police would hold a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon. Albuquerque and state authorities have been working to provide extra police presence at mosques during prayer times as the investigation proceeded in the city, home to as many as 5,000 Muslims out of a total population of 565,000.

The ambush-style shootings of the men, who were of Pakistani or Afghan descent, has terrified Albuquerque's Muslim community. Families went into hiding in their homes and some Pakistani students at the University of New Mexico left town out of fear. The first of the killings occurred in November. Three other men were killed over the past two weeks.

Imtiaz Hussain, the brother of murdered city planning director Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, said news of the arrest reassured many in the Muslim community. "My kids asked me, 'Can we sit on our balcony now?' and I said, 'Yes,' and they said, 'Can we go out and play now?' and I said, 'Yes,'" he said.

An official for the Islamic Center of New Mexico, Albuquerque's largest mosque that several of the murdered men attended, declined immediate comment. Three of the victims were shot dead near Central Avenue in southeast Albuquerque. Naeem Hussain, 25, a truck driver who became a U.S. citizen on July 8, was killed on Friday, hours after attending the burial of Afzaal Hussain, 27, and another victim, Aftab Hussein, 41. They were killed on Aug. 1 and July 26, respectively.

Mohammad Ahmadi, a Muslim from Afghanistan, was killed on Nov. 7, 2021, while smoking a cigarette outside the grocery store and cafe that he ran with his brother in the southeast part of the city.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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