Police announced a breakthrough Tuesday in the killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
According to Chief Harold Medina, authorities tracked down a vehicle that was linked with a killing and detained a man who is believed to be connected to all four murders.
Each of the victims of the slayings shared common elements relating to race and religion. The first victim, 62-year-old Mohammad Ahmadi, was killed on Nov. 7. Two Pakistani men, 41-year-old Aftab Hussein and 27-year-old Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, were killed on July 26 and Aug. 1.
Another victim, 25-year-old Naeem Hussain, also from Pakistan, and was shot to death last Friday (Aug. 5).
“The driver was detained and he is our primary suspect for the murders,” said Medina via Twitter. The killings have raised fears in the community as well as an increased security presence at mosques and schools.
A Republican candidate for New Mexico’s House of Representatives revealed that he was on the fence about canceling campaign events planned for Friday (Aug. 5), noting fear of a potential serial killer on the loose that were targeting Muslims in Albuquerque.
“I’m thinking to cancel them,” said Khalid Emshadi, who is Muslim and emigrated with his wife from Libya in 2008. He has been a resident in Albuquerque for over a year.
Aside from campaign events, Emshadi notes that he and fellow Muslims have been afraid to practice their Islamic rituals at mosques.
“I cannot work the streets. I cannot knock on doors because if this person is still on the streets and feeling comfortable killing Muslims, I could be his next target,” he shared. “We think something bad is going to happen if we just start praying, (like) a crazy person comes inside and shoots us.”