Authorities investigate killings of Muslim men in Albuquerque as possibly connected

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(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Saturday she will send additional state police to Albuquerque after the fourth murder of a Muslim man in the city in recent months.

“I am angered and saddened that this is happening in New Mexico, a place that prides itself on diversity of culture and thought. This is not who we are,” said Lujan Grisham in a press statement.

The governor’s office said additional state police will be on patrol in the city and they are working in close coordination with the Albuquerque Police Department and the FBI to provide necessary support.

“We will not stop in our pursuit of justice for the victims and their families and are bringing every resource to bear to apprehend the killer or killers — and we WILL find them,” the governor said. “In addition, we will continue to do everything we can to support to the Muslim community during this difficult time.”

Albuquerque Police released an image Sunday of a car — a dark gray or silver Volkswagen that could possibly be a Jetta, with four doors and tinted windows — suspected of being used in the recent homicides.

The Albuquerque Police Department did not identify the man killed Friday night. The man, believed to be in his 20s, is Muslim and a native of South Asia, they said.

Police are investigating whether the killing is connected to the Monday shooting death of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain as well as the murder of Aftab Hussein on July 26 and Mohammad Ahmadi in November 2021.

Police on Thursday said they determined a connection between the shooting deaths of Hussain, 27, and Hussein, 41 — both from Pakistan. Ahmadi, 62, was a Muslim man from Afghanistan who was killed outside a business he ran with his brother, police say.

“We’ve never gone through anything like this before,” Ahmad Assed, president of the Islamic Center of New Mexico, said at a press conference Saturday, according to ABC affiliate KOAT in Albuquerque. “This is really a surreal time for us. We’re in fear of the safety of our children, our families.”

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