By Adam Sabes
The Albuquerque Police Department in New Mexico has released images of the vehicle that is suspected to have been used as the mode of transportation in the recent murders of four Muslim men.
Police said during a Sunday afternoon press conference they are seeking further information and identification of a black Volkswagen Jetta or Passat.
On Saturday, police said four recent murders of Muslim men could be connected. A man in his 20s was found dead shortly before midnight on Aug. 5. He is a Muslim who was a native of South Asia, and police haven’t confirmed his identity.
Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, was killed on Aug. 1, and on July 26, Aftab Hussein, 41, was also killed, police say.
Both men are Muslim and are from Pakistan, according to police, who added there is a connection between the killings of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain and Aftab Hussein.
Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said the murders are “disturbing.”
Authorities are also looking into whether these murders are connected with the killing of Mohammad Ahmadi, a Muslim from Afghanistan who was murdered in November.
Muhammad Afzaal Hussain was a planning and land use director for the city of Española. According to the mayor, Tuesday would have been his one-year anniversary in his position.
“I am deeply saddened to report that Monday night City of Española Planning and Land Use Director Muhammad Afzaal Hussain was shot and killed in Albuquerque. APD is investigating the shooting, but it appears Muhammad was randomly targeted in a senseless act of violence,” Española Mayor John Ramon Vigil said in a Facebook post. “Muhammad was soft spoken and kind, and quick to laugh. He was well respected and well-liked by his coworkers and members of the community. Tuesday would have marked his first-year anniversary leading the City’s planning team.”
President Biden said in a Tweet that he’s “angered and saddened by the horrific killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque.”
“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,” he added.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the killings are “deeply angering” in a Twitter post.
“The targeted killings of Muslim residents of Albuquerque is deeply angering and wholly intolerable,” Grisham said. “I am sending additional State Police officers to Albuquerque to work in close coordination with APD and the FBI to bring the killer or killers to justice – and they WILL be found. We will continue to do everything we can to support to the Muslim community of Albuquerque and greater New Mexico during this difficult time.”