Suspect arrested in killings of Muslim men in New Mexico, police say 'interpersonal conflict' may have played role




  • In US
  • 2022-08-10 00:03:47Z
  • By NBC News

A man suspected of killing at least two Muslim men in New Mexico in recent months is believed to have targeted the victims over an "interpersonal conflict," authorities said Tuesday.

The suspect, Muhammad Syed, 51, was arrested Monday after a tipster contacted authorities, Albuquerque Police Deputy Commander Kyle Hartsock told reporters.

Syed is accused of the July 26 and Aug. 1 murders of Aftab Hussein, 41, and Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, Hartsock said.

He is a suspect in the Aug. 5 killing of Naeem Hussain, 25, and the Nov. 7 slaying of Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, but authorities are still investigating those cases, Hartsock said.

Hartsock declined to elaborate on a potential motive. In a news release, the department said the victims knew Syed "to some extent, and an interpersonal conflict" may have led to the shootings.

Bernalillo County District Attorney Raúl Torrez said murder charges are expected in the case.

Syed was taken into custody after authorities secured a search warrant for his home, Hartsock said. He was seen getting into the same car - a gray Volkswagen Jetta - linked to at least one of the killings.

Authorities followed him to Santa Rosa, more than 100 miles east of Albuquerque, and pulled him over, Hartsock said. Syed was arrested without incident.

At Syed's home, authorities found multiple guns, including one that authorities think was used in the fatal shootings of Aftab Hussein and Muhammad Afzaal Hussain.

Syed is believed to have come to the United States from Afghanistan in recent years, Hartsock said. His immigration status was unclear.

Hartsock said Syed had been arrested for a few misdemeanors in Albuquerque, but he could not provide additional details.

Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said he hoped Monday's arrest would bring a "sense of safety back to the Muslim community."

"This crime made our community feel like it was under attack," he said at a news conference.

Image: Muslim Men Shootings Being Investigated In New Mexico (Adolphe Pierre-Louis / Albuquerque Journal via ZUMA Press)
Image: Muslim Men Shootings Being Investigated In New Mexico (Adolphe Pierre-Louis / Albuquerque Journal via ZUMA Press)  

The most recent slaying happened just before midnight Friday on the edge of a community known as the International District, southeast of downtown, police said.

Naeem Hussain was identified as the victim.

Minutes after police announced the arrest, Ehsan Shahalami, Hussain's brother-in-law, expressed hope that only one person was responsible for the bloodshed.

"We are hopeful that this is going to be the end to this murder spree and that everybody else will be safe," said Shahalami, 37, who lives in Virginia. "I'm hoping that it's just one person, not multiple people involved."

The first attack that could be connected to the violence happened Nov. 7 when Mohammad Ahmadi was found dead behind the halal meat business he ran with his brother.

The two other homicides were the killing of Pakistani immigrant Aftab Hussein and Muhammad Afzaal Hussain near the University of New Mexico, authorities said.

Muhammad Imtiaz Hussain, brother of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, said he hopes life can go back to normal with this week's arrest.

"I'm glad the suspect was arrested," the grieving sibling said. "We feel relieved. We can now take our kids to parks. We can go shopping. We no longer feel that fear."

COMMENTS

More Related News

California woman charged with killing man over cat dispute
California woman charged with killing man over cat dispute
  • US
  • 2022-09-28 19:59:32Z

A California woman has been charged with killing a man by ramming her car into him after accusing him of trying to run over a cat in the street, authorities ...

Murder suspect and abducted 15-year-old daughter killed in California shootout
Murder suspect and abducted 15-year-old daughter killed in California shootout
  • US
  • 2022-09-28 01:54:01Z

Authorities said a 15-year-old teenage girl was killed alongside her father, who was suspected of abducting her and killing the child's mother, during a...

California slaying suspect killed in high desert shootout
California slaying suspect killed in high desert shootout
  • US
  • 2022-09-27 20:03:10Z

A fugitive in a Southern California slaying was killed in a shootout Tuesday with law enforcement in the high desert after he allegedly fled with his 15-year...

S. Korean Authorities Look to Freeze $67M Bitcoin Tied to Terra
S. Korean Authorities Look to Freeze $67M Bitcoin Tied to Terra's Do Kwon

Interpol has issued a Red Notice for Kwon's provisional arrest pending extradition as a worldwide search for the Terraform Labs co-founder continues.

New Mexico allows funds for prosecutions in
New Mexico allows funds for prosecutions in 'Rust' shooting
  • US
  • 2022-09-26 14:28:33Z

As many as four people could face charges, including actor Alec Baldwin.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US