Updated: 9:15 Eastern Time, August 6
The Albuquerque Journal now reports a fourth Muslim man and the third in the past two weeks, has been murdered
All four were murdered on separate occasions in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Police are investigating the murders for “possible ties to the same offender,” CNN reports.
Police arrived just before Midnight Friday night to find the fourth victim at the area near San Mateo and Copper NE. His identity has not been released.
The Council of American Islamic Relations told AsAmNews in an emailed statement that its increased its reward in the case to $10,000.
It also called on the Biden administration to take an active role in helping to stop the murder spree.
According to Reuters, 62-year-old Mohammad Ahmadi was shot to death on November 7 in a parking lot by a halal supermarket and cafe. Aftab Hussein, 41, was found dead of gunshot wounds near the city’s international center on July 26. Then, on Monday, Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, a planning director for the city of Española, was shot dead outside of his home in Alburquerque.
The Alburquerque police and the FBI have announced that they believe that the murders are connected.
“As with the previous three murders we mentioned on Thursday, there is reason to believe this death is related to those shootings,” Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said to CBS News.
“While we won’t go into all the specifics of why we think that, there is one strong commonality with the victims, the race and religion,” Kyle Hartsock, the Deputy Commander of the Criminal Investigation Division for Albuquerque Police said, according to KRQE.
Hartsock has asked for the public’s help identifying the shooter or shooters, CNN reports. He says all three victims were ambushed, shot and killed.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has asked that authorities treat the case as a hate crime if necessary.
“If a bias-motive is determined, state and federal authorities should apply appropriate hate crime charges,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement, according to Reuters.
It is unclear if authorities have any leads on possible suspects. For now, the Muslim community in Albuquerque remains on high alert.
“The community certainly is in need of understanding the egregiousness of the conduct displayed in all three of these shootings, and if it’s true that we were targeted as Muslims and they need to be very vigilant in protecting themselves and taking measures of precaution,” Ahmad Assed, The President of the Islamic Center of New Mexico, told KRQE.
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