ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A suspect in the murder of four Muslim men in Albuquerque after being detained by New Mexico police is a crime that rocked the city and its small Muslim community. He denied having an affair with and told authorities he was very nervous about the violence when he was driving to Houston in search of a new home for his family, according to court documents.
Documents released in a criminal complaint Tuesday night show that Muhammad Saeed, 51, had clothes in his car when he was arrested during a traffic stop more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) from his home in Albuquerque on Monday. It is said that he only had shoes and a pistol.
But investigators said the bullet casings found in Sayid’s car matched the caliber of the weapon believed to have been used in the two murders, and that the casings found at those crime scenes were found in Sayid’s home. The criminal complaint said it determined it was related to a stolen gun.
Said, an Afghan immigrant, told detectives that he served in special forces in Afghanistan and fought the Taliban with the help of a Pashto interpreter, according to the complaint. He also denied involvement in his murder during an interview with detectives, according to the complaint.
The ambush killing of four Muslim men at various outdoor locations around Albuquerque caused fear to ripple through the Muslim community in New Mexico’s largest city, but Said, who knew the victims, , officials said.
He was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday afternoon. Prosecutors planned to seek to keep him in custody without bail pending trial, and court documents did not list an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Albuquerque’s Muslim community breathed an “astonishing sigh of relief” after the arrest, said Ahmad Ased, director of the Islamic Center in New Mexico. “My life turned upside down.”
Three more were killed between 26 July and 5 August, following the first killing in November last year.
Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said it was not yet clear whether the deaths should be classified as hate crimes or serial killings, or both.
According to police, Syed lived in the United States for about five years.
A police statement said “the perpetrators had some knowledge of the victim and that the interpersonal conflict may have led to the shooting,” but investigators will not determine how they crossed paths. I am still working for
When asked specifically whether Saeed, a Sunni Muslim, was upset that his daughter married a Shiite Muslim, deputy police commander Kyle Hartsock did not directly respond. did. “The motives are still being fully explored to understand what the motives are,” he said.
Ased admitted that “there was a marriage,” but cautioned against drawing conclusions about Saeed’s motives for occasionally attending the Center’s mosque.
In 2017, Saeed’s daughter’s boyfriend reported to police that Saeed, his wife and one of his sons had dragged him out of the car and beat and kicked him, according to court documents. The boyfriend, who found her nosebleed, scratches and bruises, told police he was attacked because he didn’t want a relationship with her.
Saeed was arrested after a fight with his wife turned violent in May 2018, according to court documents. rice field.
Syed was also arrested in 2020 for ignoring traffic lights and refusing to stop for police, but the case was eventually dismissed, court documents say.
The Albuquerque killings caught the attention of President Joe Biden, who said such attacks “have no place in America.” They also sent tremors to Muslim communities across the United States. Some questioned their safety and restricted their movement.
“There is no justification for this evil. rice field.
He called the killing “a mad act.”
The earliest case was the November killing of Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, from Afghanistan.
Last Friday, Naeem Hussain, a 25-year-old man from Pakistan, was murdered. His death came days after Muhammad Afzar Hussein, 27, and Aftab Hussein, 41, who were also from Pakistan and were members of the same mosque.
Ehsan Chahalmi, Naeem Hussain’s brother-in-law, said he was “a generous, kind, giving, forgiving and loving soul that has been taken from us forever”.
Investigators believe Saeed is the prime suspect in the deaths of Naeem Hussein and Ahmadi, but no charges have yet been filed in those cases.
The announcement that the shootings appeared to be related generated more than 200 hints, including one from the Muslim community that police believe led them to the Sayid family.
Police said they saw him driving away in a Volkswagen Jetta while attempting to search Said’s Albuquerque home on Monday.
Said’s sons were questioned and released, officials said.
Dazio reported from Los Angeles and Pham from Winter Park, Florida. His Associated Press correspondent Robert Jablon from Los Angeles and researchers Rhonda Shafner and Jennifer Farrar from New York contributed to the report.
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