Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina is once again urging the city’s Muslim community to be vigilant after another Muslim man was found dead on Saturday. He is the fourth to be killed in similar circumstances in New Mexico City since November 2021.
Police say they have reason to believe that the murders were allegedly committed by the same person or persons. The most recent murder came two days after the Albuquerque Police Department held a press conference with the FBI to announce a possible connection.
While officials have declined to reveal any specific evidence, they point to the fact that all the victims have a common caste and religion.
“Our city has suffered another tragic loss overnight. Another youth, who belonged to the Muslim community, was murdered. As with the three previous killings we mentioned on Thursday, there is reason to believe that this death is related to those shootings,” Medina said at a news conference on Saturday afternoon.
“We need to ask the Muslim community to be especially vigilant. Take care of each other. If you see something, say something,” he said.
In response to the violence, patrols in the city were intensified. In addition to FBI assistance, officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the US Marshals Service are helping with the investigation. He said police were also in talks with leaders of the Albuquerque Islamic Center.
Asked whether he would say there was a serial killer out in the open, Gilbert Gallegos, communications director for the Albuquerque Police Department, said it was too early to use the phrase. Nor can Gallegos yet say whether the murders qualify as hate crimes.
Police did not immediately reveal the name of the person who died recently or the manner of his death.
But he said on Thursday that all three previous killings were shootings and that the victims were ambushed.
Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, was shot in the head on November 7 and was found with his brother in the parking lot of a halal grocery store and cafe. The Albuquerque Journal reported that the siblings fled Afghanistan in the 1980s.
Aftab Hussain, 41, also originally from Afghanistan, died of gunshot wounds on the evening of 26 July. His coworkers at Flying Star, a local restaurant chain, told local news station KRQE that he was a “hard-working clown. A heart of generosity” who once collected all the tips he earned in two weeks into a donation jar for a co-worker in need. bar put. His coworkers said he was planning to get married and make a living in New Mexico.
Muhammad Afzal Hussain, 27, was shot in the head on August 1 in the parking lot outside his apartment building. He came to the US from Pakistan in 2017 to obtain a master’s degree in community planning from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Journal reported. Two years later, Hussain was elected president of the Graduate and Professional Students’ Union. At the time of his death, he was working in local government in the city of Espaola, where colleagues called him a “rising star”, local news station KOB4 reported.
Tahir Gauba, a spokesman for the Albuquerque Islamic Center, told The Santa Fe New Mexican, a local newspaper, that the killings had upset people.
“We’ve never felt so scared [our] community,” Gauba told the outlet. “I’ve never seen so much fear in my family.”