New Mexico Police Arrest Suspect They Believe Might Have Murdered As Many As 4 Muslim Men
Investigators say that “an interpersonal conflict may have led to the shootings.”
A man was arrested in connection with what authorities in New Mexico suspect may be the linked fatal shootings of four male Muslim victims of South Asian descent.
“We tracked down the vehicle believed to be involved in a recent murder of a Muslim man in Albuquerque,” the city’s police chief, Harold Medina, said in a statement on Aug. 9, 2022. “The driver was detained and he is our primary suspect for the murders."
Muhammad Syed, 51, is now charged with the July 26 slaying of Aftab Hussein, 41, as well as the Aug. 1 homicide of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27.
“We think there might be involvement in two other homicide cases,” Albuquerque Deputy Commander Kyle Hartsock said after Syed’s arrest.
According to Hartsock, the investigations into the fatal shooting of Naeem Hussain, 25, on Aug. 5, 2022 and of 62-year-old Mohammed Zahir Ahmadi in November 2021 “are still considered open and active.”
Syed has not been charged in connection with either of the two.
Police officials said a possible motive for the deaths of Hussein and Hussain remains unclear, but they noted in a statement that investigators “discovered evidence that shows the offender knew the victims to some extent and an interpersonal conflict may have led to the shootings.”
Syed and the victims reportedly often frequented the same mosque, according to NPR.
Syed has denied he was involved with any of the four killings.
Sharif Ahmadi Hadi, whose younger brother was one of the men who died, told The New York Times that he knew Syed and his family.
“Syed was explosive, violent, always seeking revenge,” claimed Hadi, who, like the suspect, is an Afghan immigrant. “We left Afghanistan to get away from people like him. But they followed us here.”
The investigation into the deadly shootings is ongoing.