Muhammad Syed can be seen in this image published by the Albuquerque Police Department on August 9, 2022. Syed. hide caption AP
toggle caption Muhammad Syed can be seen in this image published by the Albuquerque Police Department on August 9, 2022.
AP N.M.’s ALBUQUERQUE New charges have been brought against an Afghan immigrant accused of killing two Muslim males in connection with the shooting murder of another man earlier this month in the parking lot of a refugee resettlement organization.
Muhammad Syed was charged with the three murders on Monday by a grand jury. He is also a suspect in the November 2021 shooting death of a Muslim business owner, but no charges have been brought against him in that incident.
The indictment mentions the passing of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain and Aftab Hussein. Hussein, 41, was killed on July 26 after leaving his car in the same position it always was close to his house. On August 1, while out for a stroll in the evening, Afzaal Hussain, a 27-year-old urban planner who had worked on the campaign of a New Mexico congresswoman, was shot and killed.
Authorities claim that Syed killed Naeem Hussain on August 5 while he was sitting in his car outside Lutheran Family Services, the resettlement organization, after the funerals of two other gunshot victims. Around 4 o’clock, shots were fired at Hussain’s SUV, hitting him in the head and the arm.
In a court hearing last week, Syed’s defense counsel argued that the 51-year-old had no criminal history because earlier domestic violence charges against him were dropped. Syed has denied any involvement in the killings that shook New Mexico’s Muslim community.
Syed was described as a dangerous man by the prosecution. Syed will be kept without bond while awaiting trial, a state district court ruled in agreement.
Four counts of tampering with evidence in connection with the three murders for which Syed is accused are also included in the indictment that was made public on Monday.
Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina released a statement in which he said, “Our homicide investigators continue to work with prosecutors to ensure all victims in this horrific case receive justice.”
Public defenders for Syed chose not to comment on the most recent allegations.
In surveillance footage that was retrieved by Albuquerque police detectives, a gray vehicle can be seen departing the scene after Naeem Hussain was shot. Detectives were able to identify the vehicle with the use of more security footage and tips from the public, and they were able to identify Syed as the owner.
Syed was taken into custody on August 8 more than 100 miles (160 km) from his residence in Albuquerque. He informed the authorities that he was traveling to Texas and expressed his concern on the ambush murders.
According to the initial criminal complaint submitted by Albuquerque police, investigators found that bullet casings discovered in Syed’s car matched the caliber of the weapons thought to have been used in the killings on July 26 and August 1, and that casings discovered at the crime scenes were connected to guns discovered at Syed’s home and in his car.
One of Syed’s sons is allegedly accused by federal investigators in court documents of perhaps assisting his father in tracking Naeem Hussain before he was killed by citing cellular records. According to Shaheen Syed’s counsel, the prosecution’s assertions that the younger Syed gave a false address when buying a pistol from a nearby store in 2021 are unfounded.