ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Police and the community are on high alert searching for whoever killed four local Muslim men in so-called “ambush attacks.”
The latest victim was killed Friday night, hours after he attended a funeral service for two of the other Muslim men who were killed. Police are now asking the public for help in finding those responsible.
“He came to the US six years ago after struggling very hard to get to the US,” said Ehsan Shahalami, Naeem’s brother-in-law.
Shahalami says he worked his way up to buy his own 18-wheeler — thereby chasing the American dream.
“For me, for example, I still don’t believe it in some places. I was waiting for a call from him or something just to hear his voice again,” Shahalami said.
The funeral was followed by lunch at the New Mexico Islamic Center.
Shahalami says that was the last time Naeem saw his friends.
“Called him and texted him and he didn’t respond to any of those calls or texts,” Shahalami said.
He says Naeem’s friends used location sharing on his phone to track him to the Lutheran Family Services parking lot north of Central and east of Nob Hill.
“And they approached the vehicle and they saw Naeem and they opened the door, they thought he was sleeping or something. So they basically said, ‘Naeem?’ And then as soon as they touched him, he – one of the friends – slumped and fell down,” Shahalami said. “The friends who saw the body said it was shot in the head.”
Naeem is the third Muslim man surnamed Hussain to be killed in Albuquerque in less than two weeks. Now the police are investigating whether and how these murders could be connected.
“Most of the time, in cases like this, it’s tips from the public that help us solve cases.”
Police are looking for the driver of a Volkswagen or Jetta, hoping the publicity can lead them to a killer.
“It’s just the most un-American thing you can do to anyone and the most inhumane thing you can do to anyone,” Shahalami said.