Albuquerque, New Mexico, police are asking the public for help locating a dark-colored sedan suspected of being linked to the murders of several Muslim men who were ambushed and shot in separate incidents.
At a press conference on Sunday, Albuquerque police asked anyone with information about a dark-colored four-door Volkswagen, possibly a Jetta or Passat, with tinted windows that could be damaged, to contact the police “as soon as possible”.
Mayor Tim Keller said police believe the vehicle was used Friday night murder of an unidentified Muslim in Albuquerque.
“We learned about what happened, we have leads,” Keller told reporters on Sunday. “We have a solid lead, a vehicle of interest. We don’t know what it’s associated with or who it belongs to.”
Friday’s killing is believed to be linked to three previous ambush-style shooting slayings of Muslim men, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said at a Saturday afternoon news conference.
“As with the previous three murders we reported on Thursday, there is reason to believe this death is related to these shootings,” Medina said.
According to Albuquerque JournalMuhammed Afzaal Hussain, 27, was shot and killed on August 1, while Aftab Hussein, 41, was killed on July 26. Both were from Pakistan and members of the same mosque.
Their deaths followed the November 2021 murder of Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, a Muslim of South Asian descent. Ahmadi was killed behind a market and a cafe he owned with his brother.
Albuquerque police previously said there was a “strong possibility” that the three prior homicides were related, according to the Journal.
On Saturday, the Albuquerque Police Department created a public portal where anyone can upload videos or images that can provide answers regarding the series of killings of Muslim men in the area over the past nine months. Police have not confirmed whether the lead on the vehicle came from the gate.
The series of murders shook the Muslim community of Albuquerque. Police said on Sunday it was too early to know whether the killings would be classified as hate crimes.
President Joe Biden tweeted Sunday morning that he was devastated by the killings and offered his condolences to the families affected.
“I am angry and saddened by the horrific murders of four Muslim men in Albuquerque,” Biden tweeted. “Pending a full investigation, my prayers go out to the families of the victims and my administration stands firmly behind the Muslim community. These heinous attacks have no place in America.”
Vice President Kamala Harris also tweeted that she was “deeply troubled” by the killings and said the White House stood with the Muslim community as police continued their investigation.
“I am deeply disturbed by the murder of four Muslim men in Albuquerque,” Harris tweeted. “As law enforcement continues to investigate these heinous attacks, we remain clear that we stand with the Muslim community in New Mexico and across our country. Hate has no place in America. .”
On Saturday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations announcement a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
“This tragedy not only affects the Muslim community, but all Americans,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement Saturday. “We must stand united against hatred and violence, regardless of race, religion or origin of the victims or perpetrators. We urge anyone with information about these crimes to come forward by contacting law enforcement. ‘order.”