ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (TCD) — Police announced Tuesday that they located and detained a man believed to be connected to four shooting deaths around the city that targeted Muslim men.
On Tuesday, Aug. 9, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina announced on Twitter that investigators identified a vehicle they believe the suspect used and located the driver. He is reportedly the “primary suspect” in the killings.
According to Medina, the suspect was armed and “in crisis,” but officers reportedly “deescalated the situation.”
In a press conference, Albuquerque Police Deputy Commander Kyle Hartsock identified the suspect as 51-year-old Muhammad Syed and said he was linked to at least two of the deaths. Police received a tip about Syed, and reportedly honed in on him as a suspect.
They obtained a search warrant for his home, and as they were preparing to execute the warrant, they saw him get into the car that police said was connected to the crime.
Police followed Syed and stopped him near Santa Rosa, New Mexico. A SWAT team then executed the search warrant at a home and recovered “multiple firearms.”
Hartsock said, “At least one of them inside the home and at least one of them inside the car that was pulled over are matching our two crime scenes.”
KRQE-TV reports Albuquerque Police said in a news release investigators “discovered evidence that shows the offender knew the victims to some extent and an interpersonal conflict may have led to the shooting.”
On Aug. 6, the Albuquerque Police Department said officers responded to a shooting call the night prior near Truman Street and Grand Avenue and found a man deceased. He was described as a Muslim man from South Asia in his mid-20s, and investigators believe his death was related to three other killings of South Asian Muslim men in the area.
Twenty-seven-year-old Muhammed Afzaal Hussain was killed Aug. 1, 2022, and 41-year-old Aftab Hussein was found dead July 26, 2022, in southeast Albuquerque. They were reportedly both from Pakistan, according to Albuquerque Police.
On Nov. 7, 2021, Afghan native Mohammad Ahmadi was killed outside of his business in northwest Albuquerque.
KRQE identified the most recent victim as 25-year-old Naeem Husain.
Hartsock said detectives are still investigating the motive and will “follow the evidence.”
Jail records show Syed is being held on two counts of open murder.
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