Fourth Muslim Man Murdered in Albuquerque Just ‘Hours’ After Attending Funeral for Other Victims

·3 min read

The fourth Muslim man shot to death in Albuquerque in the last nine months reportedly attended a funeral service for two of the other murdered men just hours before he met the same fate.

“Being shot in that brutal manner is just the most un-American thing to do to anybody. Most inhumane thing to do to anybody,” Ehsan Shalami, the brother-in-law of 25-year-old Naeem Hussein, told the Today show on Monday.

Friends found Hussein’s body around midnight Friday in a parking lot east of the city, Shalami said.

“As soon as they touched him he slouched over and fell over,” Shalami explained, adding that his friends said he’d been shot in the head.

Albuquerque Police are asking the public’s help to locate a “vehicle of interest” that could be linked to the recent murders. Police posted images of the car across social media on Sunday night and said it could have been used as “conveyance” in the recent homicides.

The car is described as either a dark gray or silver Volkswagen Passat or Jetta sedan with four doors and tinted windows. “We have a very, very strong link,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said Sunday. “We have a vehicle of interest… We have got to find this vehicle. We are outraged by these attacks and will not relent in our pursuit of justice for those we have lost.” It is unclear where the images of the car were taken.

The first of the four killings in New Mexico’s biggest city was reported in November 2021, when 62-year-old Mohammad Ahmadi was shot and killed outside a halal cafe. Aftab Hussein, 41, was killed in his apartment complex parking in July.

Then, less than a week later, on Aug. 1, 27-year-old Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, was shot and killed outside his apartment. Hussain had worked on Democratic Rep. Melanie Stansbury’s campaign.

“I am devastated and heartbroken by the news that our community has lost Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, a beloved son and brother, urban planner, and shining light, to senseless gun violence. For those who knew Muhammad, his smile and passion lit up a room,” she said in a statement last week. “I was fortunate enough to have the privilege of working with Muhammad during our Campaign for Congress, where his work as a field organizer for our campaign inspired countless people with his compassion and dedication to working in partnership with our communities, and as one of the kindest and hardest-working people I have ever known.”

Naeem Hussein had recently obtained his U.S. citizenship, and continued driving a truck throughout the pandemic, when others quit, because he thought it was the right thing to do,” his brother-in-law said.

“He was the type of guy literally, that if you asked for his clothes off his back, he would, you know, give him without hesitation. You needed money. You would call him,” Shalami said.

The fourth death came a day after police said they believe Hussain’s death is connected to the previous deaths and that Hussain and Hussein were both members of the same mosque. Authorities are now trying to piece together a link with Ahmadi’s death in November.

A statement from Española Mayor John Ramon Vigil, whom Hussain worked for at the time of his death, said it appeared Hussain was “randomly targeted in a senseless act of violence.” Vigil described his colleague as “soft spoken and kind, and quick to laugh.”

In another statement, Albuquerque Police confirmed the FBI was involved and urged the public to come forward with information. The police department said it has created a public portal where the public can upload videos or pictures that might assist in solving the homicides.

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