A Muslim imam and a second man were shot on Saturday as they were walking home from afternoon prayer at a mosque in the New York borough of Queens.
According to authorities, the cleric, Maulama Akonjee, and the second man were both shot in the head in the afternoon after they left the Al-Furqan Jane Masjid in the Ozone Park neighborhood. Both of them were wearing Islamic garb when they were shot.
“The men were transported to Jamaica hospital center and died while life-saving procedures were being performed,” said Andew Rubin, a hospital spokesman.
There’s no evidence yet about who was responsible for the murders and the motive for the shooting is still unknown.
“There’s nothing in the preliminary investigation to indicate that they were targeted because of their faith,” said deputy inspector Henry Sautner of the New York police department.
Saunter added that video surveillance showed the victims were approached by a man who was wearing a dark polo shirt and shorts. Then the man shot them and fled with the gun still in his hand.
Over 100 people attended a rally at the shooting site on Saturday night who chanted “We want justice!”
“I understand the fear because I feel it myself. I understand the anger. But it’s very important to mount a thorough investigation,” said Sarah Sayeed, a member of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s staff.