Police in Albuquerque investigating the slayings of four Muslim men released photos of a car believed to be tied to the possible ser
Police in Albuquerque investigating the slayings of four Muslim men released photos of a car believed to be tied to the possible serial-killer deaths that have left the community rattled.
Cops said in a press release Sunday they were pleading for the public’s help in locating the sought vehicle: a dark gray or silver dour-door Volkswagen with tinted windows, which appears to be a Jetta.
Police did not say where or when the images were taken, or what led them to suspect the car was involved in any of the crimes.
“We have a very, very strong link,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said Sunday. “We have a vehicle of interest … We have got to find this vehicle.”
Police still are trying to determine if there are any links among the quartet of killings.
Naeem Hussain, 25, was shot dead late on Friday in Albuquerque, and ambush shootings killed three Muslim men over the past nine months. The common elements in all the victims are their race and religion, deputy police commander Kyle Hartsock said.
Hussain was from Pakistan and was gunned down outside an organization that offers help to refugees, just hours after attending a funeral for two of the other slain Muslim men and expressing fear over the shootings, reported CNN.
Hussain was found dead after police received a call of a shooting.
Last week, police confirmed that local detectives and federal law enforcement officers were looking for possible ties among the separate crimes.
Two of the men — Muhammed Afzaal Hussain, 27, and Aftab Hussein, 41 — were killed in the past week near their respective homes, and both were from Pakistan and members of the same mosque.
The third case involves the November 2021 killing of Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, a Muslim man of South Asian descent who was killed near his family’s halal market, reported the Albuquerque Journal.
Police declined to say whether Friday’s homicide was carried out in a way similar to the other deaths.
Hussain’s brother-in-law, Ehsan Shahalami, told CNN that the 25-year-old fled Pakistan as a refugee in 2015 and had become a US citizen just last month.
“He was the most generous, kind, giving, patient, and down-to-earth person that I could ever meet,” said Shahalami. “He was very hardworking. He shared whatever he made with his family back home.”
Hussain started his own trucking company this year and was planning to bring his wife over from Pakistan and buy property in Virginia.
Tahir Gauba, spokesperson for the Islamic Center of New Mexico, told CNN that several hours before his death, Hussain attended a funeral for two of the shooting victims — Muhammed Afzaal Hussain and Aftab Hussein.
“He stopped by to say, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ He was worried. I told him to be careful,” Gauba said.
Authorities said they can’t say yet if the shootings were hate crimes until they have identified a suspect and can determine a motive.
Ahmad Assed, president of the Islamic Center of New Mexico, described Albuquerque’s tight-knit Muslim community as feeling “incredibly terrified” in the wake of the killings.
“Some people want to move from the state until this thing is over,” Assed told CNN, adding that Muslim businesses have been closing early and young people have been staying home out of fear.
“We will bring this person or these persons to justice,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Sunday.
President Biden also condemned the killings in Albuquerque.
“I am angered and saddened by the horrific killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque,” Biden tweeted on 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.”
With Post wires