Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico, say that four recent murders of Muslim men could be linked, and said that the Federal Bureau of Investigations is assisting in the investigation.
Police officers responded to reports of a shooting shortly before midnight on Friday and found a man in his mid-20s dead. The man is a Muslim who is a native of South Asia, and his identity has not been confirmed.
According to a press release from the police department, investigators believe that the murder might be connected to three other recent murders of Muslim men who are also from South Asia.
On Aug. 1, Muhammed Afzaal Hussain, 27, was killed, and on July 26, Aftab Hussein, 41, was also killed, according to police. The men were Muslim and from Pakistan, police say.
There is a connection between the murder of Muhammed and Aftab, according to police.
Police are also looking into whether these murders are connected with the killing of Mohammad Ahmadi, a Muslim from Afghanistan,who was killed in November.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham called the killings "deeply angering."
"The targeted killings of Muslim residents of Albuquerque is deeply angering and wholly intolerable," Grisham said. "I am sending additional State Police officers to Albuquerque to work in close coordination with APD and the FBI to bring the killer or killers to justice – and they WILL be found. We will continue to do everything we can to support to the Muslim community of Albuquerque and greater New Mexico during this difficult time."
Muhammad Afzaal Hussain was a planning and land use director for the City of Española. According to the mayor, Tuesday would have been his one-year anniversary in his position.
"I am deeply saddened to report that Monday night City of Española Planning and Land Use Director Muhammad Afzaal Hussain was shot and killed in Albuquerque. APD is investigating the shooting, but it appears Muhammad was randomly targeted in a senseless act of violence," Española Mayor John Ramon Vigil said in a Facebook post. "Muhammad was soft spoken and kind, and quick to laugh. He was well respected and well-liked by his coworkers and members of the community. Tuesday would have marked his first-year anniversary leading the City's planning team."