Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina announced the authorities have arrested the “primary suspect” in the killings of four Muslim men. Officials identified the suspect as 51-year-old Muhammad Syed.
“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,” Medina tweeted.
The killings took place between November 2021 and August of this year. Three of the ambush-style shootings happened within the past two weeks. The string of murders shocked the local Muslim community, with many people living in fear that they could be the next victim.
Investigators noticed similarities with the recent shootings and an unsolved shooting in November 2021 in which Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, was shot and killed. The next shooting didn’t occur until July 26, 2022, when Aftab Hussein was fatally shot. Six days later, Muhammad Afzaal Hussain was shot and killed. The most recent shooting occurred on August 5, when Naeem Hussain was found with gunshot wounds.
Syed knew the victims, and authorities suggested the motive may have been the result of a conflict between the men.
He was charged with the murders of Aftab Hussein and Muhammad Afzaal Hussain after investigators connected both murders using bullet casings found at the scenes. Officials said they are working to connect Syed to the other killings and suggested additional charges could be filed as more evidence is discovered.
“This has been a tough week for our community,” Medina said in a statement. “But, we all pitched in to solve these crimes and protect a community that felt like it was under attack. We came together like we always do in Albuquerque.”