Aug 8, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Murders of four Muslim men prompt New Mexico to boost police presence

Downtown Albuquerque is seen before the New Mexico Bowl game between the Central Michigan Chippewas and the San Diego State Aztecs at Dreamstyle Stadium on December 21, 2019
Downtown Albuquerque on Dec. 21, 2019. Photo: Sam Wasson/Getty Images

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) is boosting state police presence after four Muslim men were shot and killed in recent months, including three in the last two weeks, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

Driving the news: The fourth murder occurred on Friday and police are investigating whether the shootings are connected, per Lujan Grisham's office.

  • "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," Lujan Grisham said.
  • Authorities investigating Friday's killing are asking the public for assistance finding a vehicle believed to be connected to the deaths.
  • The Albuquerque Police Department said officers are looking for a dark gray or silver four-door Volkswagen with tinted windows, per the Albuquerque Journal.
  • "We have a very, very strong link," Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said Sunday. "We have a vehicle of interest. ... We have got to find this vehicle."

The big picture: The first shooting occurred on Nov. 7, when Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, was killed behind a halal market he owned with his brother, per the Albuquerque Journal.

  • Two other men, Muhammed Afzaal Hussain, 27, and Aftab Hussein, 41, were killed in the past two weeks, and both were from Pakistan and members of the same mosque, NPR notes.
  • Police said there was a "strong possibility" their deaths were connected to the November killing, Reuters reports.
  • 25-year-old Naeem Hussain was shot late Friday outside of an organization that offers services for refugees and asylum seekers.
  • The shootings have prompted fear among the Muslim community in New Mexico, with some wanting to leave the state.
  • "Incredibly terrified. Panicked. Some people want to move from the state until this thing is over. Some people have moved from the state," Ahmad Assed, president of the Islamic Center of New Mexico, told CNN.
  • "Businesses are closing ... early. Students won't leave their homes," he said, per CNN.

Go deeper... Everything we know about the Albuquerque shootings of 4 Muslim men

Go deeper