After four Muslim men were killed in New Mexico’s Albuquerque, the police said that they have arrested the primary suspect. The suspect Muhammad Syed was held on Tuesday and is charged with the murders of the two men.
Investigators found multiple firearms at Syed’s home. The police are investigating the deaths of the two other men to see if Syed is linked to those as well.
I’m incredibly grateful for the hard work of everyone who worked swiftly to help bring justice to the families and victims impacted by these tragic crimes. Meeting some of the family members of the victims today was a bittersweet moment I will never forget. pic.twitter.com/97Wv72SxAI— APD Chief of Police (@ABQPoliceChief) August 9, 2022
These deaths took place over the past nine months. Albuquerque police chief Harold Medina announced on Tuesday evening that they have apprehended the suspect after tracking down a vehicle which they believed was involved.
The last three murders were committed in the past two weeks. The investigators are assuming that the attacks may have been motivated by personal conflict.
Police, however, did not comment upon or reveal information about reports that the suspect, a Sunni Muslim, may have targeted the victims because he was upset that his daughter married a Shia Muslim.
Police have not said the attacks were hate crimes.
The investigators revealed that the suspect came to the US from Afghanistan. The three victims were from Pakistan and they went to the same mosque that the suspect also attended. The fourth victim was from Afghanistan who was killed last November.
The victims were fired upon with no warning.
We tracked down the vehicle believed to be involved in a recent murder of a Muslim man in Albuquerque. The driver was detained and he is our primary suspect for the murders. We will update the media later this afternoon.— APD Chief of Police (@ABQPoliceChief) August 9, 2022
The deputy commander of the police criminal investigations division Kyle Hartsock said the suspect was arrested after his car was halted and a Swat team searched his home. Hartsock said that tip from the public led to the arrest two days after the cops distributed a photograph of the suspect’s vehicle.
WANTED: APD releases photos of a vehicle of interest in the shootings of 4 Muslim men. If you have any information about this vehicle please contact Crime Stoppers at (505)-843-STOP. pic.twitter.com/1h0vUvtbSg— Albuquerque Police Department (@ABQPOLICE) August 7, 2022
The police in a news release said that detectives discovered evidence which reveals that the suspect knew the victims and there shootings may have been motivated by interpersonal conflict.
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement that he hopes citizens feel secure following the arrests. US president Joe Biden said that ‘hateful attacks of such kind’ have no place in the US.
The serial killings and the hunt for the suspect garnered the attention of the entire state and New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham sent additional law enforcement officers to the city to help the cops and the investigators. Rewards were also announced for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.
(with inputs from the BBC)