As they were leaving morning services, a Queens, New York, imam and his assistant were murdered in broad daylight just blocks from the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid Mosque in Ozone Park.
Both men were fatally shot in the head early Saturday afternoon. A group of mourners gathered outside of the mosque to share their grief. Resident Khairul Islam made it crystal clear who he thinks is responsible for all of the recent violence against Muslims in the United States.
That’s not what America is about,” said Islam. “We blame Donald Trump for this…Trump and his drama has created Islamophobia.
— Matthew Chayes (@chayesmatthew) August 14, 2016
According to witnesses, the two men were walking down the street together when the gunman ran up to them and opened fire, shooting them both. They described the shooter as “tall and dark-skinned, carrying a large handgun, and wearing a dark blue shirt and short pants.”
Millat Uddin, a 25-year resident of the neighborhood, said that this kind of violence is “unheard of.”
People being shot in the head in broad daylight is unheard of,” said Uddin. “Killing people brutally, like they’re an animal.
“All of a sudden I heard five shots,” said a witness, “I knew it wasn’t firecrackers. And then the commotion of the emergency (vehicles), and that’s when I knew…When I came here, they were doing CPR to both of the people on the ground.”
The men were rushed ot a local hospital by ambulance. Imam Alala Uddin Akongi, 55, a married father of three was pronounced dead upon his arrival at the trauma center. The second victim, Thara Uddin, 64, later died from his injuries as well.
Kobri Chowdhury, neighborhood resident and leader at another nearby mosque, said the only motive for the brutal killings was hate.
For no reason,” said Chowdhury. “He had finished his prayers…Somebody else with him. Just a pure, blind, hate crime.
You can watch more on this story from The New York Daily News, here:
NYPD on slain imam in Queens. pic.twitter.com/gGOaWCeP6y
— Matthew Chayes (@chayesmatthew) August 13, 2016
And you can view the official NYPD statement, here:
Featured image via video scren capture