Cops Nab Suspect in Queens Imam's Murder: Sources

Sources say gunman was arrested Sunday night after ramming cop car
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2016 7:44 AM CDT
Cops Nab Suspect in Queens Imam's Murder: Sources
A man displays a police sketch of a suspect believed to have shot Imam Maulama Akonjee Saturday outside the Al-Furqan mosque in Queens.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

The man suspected of gunning down an imam and his friend outside a Queens mosque has been arrested, sources tell the New York Daily News. Police would not confirm the suspect was in custody but the Daily News says he was busted Sunday night after he rammed an unmarked police car after a "brief surveillance." The 35-year-old man was nabbed in Brooklyn, reports the New York Post, after cops tracked the Chevy Trailblazer that he used to flee the execution-style slayings of Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, leader of the Al-Furqan mosque, and Thara Uddin, 64. The reported arrest came hours after a video emerged showing the gunman come up behind the men as they left the mosque around 2pm on Saturday, the Post reports.

The video shows the bespectacled gunman slowing as he takes aim and fires. As the victims fall to the ground, the shooter is seen speeding away in a Chevy Trailblazer. That's the vehicle cops had been hunting ever since a cyclist hit by the fleeing shooter wrote down the license plate, the Daily News says. Sources tell the Post the killer "knew the imam and knew his schedule." They were looking into reports the killing may have been payback in an ongoing feud between Muslims and Hispanics in the area, the Daily News reports. Earlier, cops described the suspect as Hispanic. "My father only wanted peace," the imam's son, Niam Akonjee, 23, tells the Post. "That is all we ask, for justice and to know why he killed my father." Says another member of the local Muslim community: "We usually look left and right and to the front to be careful. But now we have to look in the back. How do you do that?" (Read more imam stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.