Potential Serial Killer Targeting Muslim Men in New Mexico After ‘Targeted Killings’

·3 min read

A Muslim community in New Mexico fears a possible serial killer is at large after four Muslim men have died in what police are calling "targeted killings."

The latest fatal shooting occurred on Aug. 5 when a man identified by his family as Naeem Hussain, 25, was found dead in his vehicle by his friends in a parking lot east of Albuquerque.

Hussain's brother-in-law, Ehsan Shahalami, told NBC News correspondent Erin McLaughlin on TODAY Monday that Hussain's friends who saw his body "said it was a head shot," but he didn't know if it was a single gunshot or multiple gunshots.

"It’s devastating," Shahalami said. "I just don’t believe it. I’m waiting for a phone call from him or something, just to hear his voice one more time. And then being shot in a brutal manner, it's just the most un-American thing to do to anybody. And the most inhumane thing to do to anybody."

Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico, are investigating for a possible link to the killings of four Muslim men, including three since the end of last month.  (TODAY)
Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico, are investigating for a possible link to the killings of four Muslim men, including three since the end of last month. (TODAY)

Hours before his murder, Hussain had attended a funeral service for two of the other murder victims, Aftab Hussein, 41, and Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, a spokesperson for the community told NBC News. The two other men were shot and killed within the last two weeks in separate attacks.

All three of the men were from Pakistan, all with the last name Hussein or Hussain. Authorities are now investigating to see if the murders are linked to the killing of another Muslim man, Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, who was found dead on Nov. 7, 2021, in a parking lot behind the Albuquerque business he owned with his brother.

"Everyone is scared," Ahmadi's brother, Sharief Hadi, said on TODAY Monday. "They say we are not safe anymore. Some people, they already want to leave the city."

Police said Sunday that they are seeking a "vehicle of interest," a dark-colored, four-door Volkswagen Passat or Jetta. A flyer providing a photo and details about the car said the vehicle was seen near “recent homicides of four Muslim men," according to NBC News.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham called in the FBI and additional state police to join the investigation.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said Sunday that he is arranging for hot meals to be brought directly to members of the Muslim community who are too afraid to leave their homes for groceries.

President Biden condemned the killings in a statement Sunday.

"I am angered and saddened by the horrific killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque," Biden said in a message on Twitter. "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."