Police in New Mexico have detained a "prime suspect" suspected to be involved in two of the four deaths of South Asian Muslim males in Albuquerque over the past nine months. These crimes have shaken the Islamic community in the central city of the US state.
On Tuesday, authorities accused the 51-year-old man of the murders of two Muslim males, and he is suspected of killing two more.
Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina posted on Twitter that police located a car of interest in their investigation into the murders.
"The driver was detained and he is our primary suspect for the murders," Medina stated.
A guy was gunned killed on Friday evening in the most recent homicide.
Albuquerque and state authorities worked to increase the police presence at mosques during prayer hours. The inquiry continued in the city, home to approximately 5,000 Muslims from 565,000 residents.
The ambush-style shootings of males of Pakistani or Afghan heritage have horrified the Muslim community in Albuquerque.
Fear-stricken families hid in their houses while some Pakistani students at the University of New Mexico fled the city.
The first murder took place in November. In the previous two weeks, three further guys have died.
Imtiaz Hussain, the brother of assassinated city planning director Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, stated that the news of the arrest relieved a significant portion of the Muslim community.
"My children asked, "Can we sit on our balcony now?" and I responded, "Yes." They then asked, "Can we go play now?" and I responded 'Yes' "he stated.
A representative of the Islamic Center of New Mexico, the largest mosque in Albuquerque, which three of the dead men frequented, declined to comment immediately.
Three individuals were fatally shot in the vicinity of Central Avenue in southeast Albuquerque. Naeem Hussain, a 25-year-old truck driver who became an American citizen on July 8, was murdered on Friday, only hours after attending the funerals of Afzaal Hussain, 27, and Aftab Hussein, 41. They were respectively killed on August 1 and July 26.
Mohammad Ahmadi, an Afghani Muslim, was murdered on November 7, 2021, while enjoying a cigarette in front of the grocery store and cafe he co-owned with his brother in the city's southeast.
President Joe Biden stated over the weekend, expressing support and unity.
"I am angered and saddened by the horrific killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque," tweeted the US president.
"My prayers are with the victims' families as we await the results of a thorough inquiry, and my administration stands firmly with the Muslim community. These acts of hatred have no place in the United States."