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Hundreds of pieces of information helped police identify and prosecute a "prime suspect" in the murder of a Muslim man, police say. now they're looking for a motive

(CNN)What happened after Albuquerque police issued an alarm over the shooting of four Muslim men? Hundreds of pieces of information were receivedin the city, leading to arrests in Tuesday's killings.

Although authorities are still investigating the motives and working to see if they are all related, police arrested his 51-year-old Muhammad Said. , calling him the "principal suspect."

Muhammad Syed was arrested in connection to the deaths of Muslim men in New Mexico. This images is from a previous arrest on February, 3, 2020.
Muhammad Syed was arrested in connection to the deaths of Muslim men in New Mexico. This images is from a previous arrest on February, 3, 2020.

Muhammad Syed was arrested in connection with the death of a Muslim man in New Mexico. I was. This image is from the last arrest on February 3, 2020.

"Detectives found evidence that the perpetrator had some knowledge of the victim and that there was a conflict in the relationship that led to the shooting. News release on Tuesday

The hint directed investigators to Said, the deputy commander of the city police's criminal investigation division. According to Kyle Hartsock, Scene. A handgun case was associated with one of the scenes. Arrest Affidavit.

The killings took place between November 2021 and his August of this year, and his three most recent incidents occurred within two weeks of him. did.

Police said three of the victims, Muhammad Afzar Hussein, 27, Aftab Hussein, 41, and Mohammad Zaher Ahmadi, 62, had been killed "without warning. They were ambushed, shot and killed." A fourth man, 25-year-old Naeem Hussain, was shot dead after attending Hussain and Hussein's funeral.

A criminal complaint obtained from CNN affiliate KOAT sheds more light on the two killings.

On July 26, police arrived on Rhode Island Street and found Aftab Hussein lying next to his car, with multiple gunshot wounds. According to the complaint, the suspect waited behind a bush near the driveway where the victim was parked and repeatedly shot Hussein through the bush when he got out of the vehicle. Did.

On August 1, police received a call about him shooting drive-by near the intersection of Cornell Drive and Garfield Avenue. They found Muhammad Afzal Hussein with multiple gunshot wounds, the complaint says.

Said is charged with two counts of murder in his killing of Aftab Hussein on 26 July and his killing of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain on 1 August, according to police. It is

Regarding his two other murders, police said there was evidence that Said was "the person most likely to be of interest or suspect" in these cases as well. Hartsock said.

Said denied any involvement in his murder during an interview with police on Tuesday, according to the complaint.

How the investigation unfolded

Police were first to notice the similarities between the deaths of Aftab His Hussein and Muhammad His Afzal Hussein. rice field.

"We were able to correlate casings found in both scenes that were likely fired from the same firearm," Hartsock said. "We immediately began looking at other potentially similar cases and identified that there may be a genuinely active public threat."

In response, the police appealed to the police to investigate whether it is related to the murder that occurred on November 7, 2021. ran with his brother.

As the investigation progressed, another murder occurred in the Truman Street and Grand Avenue area just before midnight on August 5, and police found Naeem Hussein dead of a gunshot wound. discovered.

Police have stepped up patrols near mosques and other areas, and provincial governors have dispatched provincial police to cities.

Police released images of a "featured vehicle" they said may be linked to the shooting. They enlisted the help of civilians to track down the silver sedan.

The city's Muslim community was in crisis. Some stopped going to the local mosque, going out late at night, and even avoiding going shopping.

At the same time, a large amount of information began to enter law enforcement agencies.

"In total, we had about 230 tip-offs," his FBI Special Agent Raul Budjanda said on Tuesday.

Residents also began voluntarily uploading surveillance videos from their homes to online portals specifically set up for investigations. Hartsock said police sifted through the footage and found video that captured gunshots and vehicles leaving the scene.

A tip from the community eventually arrived, and investigators identified Sayid as a suspect and tracked the car.

According to the complaint, Albuquerque police and his FBI obtained multiple pieces of information about Said and his vehicle, Volkswagen his Jetta.

As police awaited execution of a search warrant at the suspect's home, they saw him enter a vehicle believed to have been implicated in the murder. stopped and detained Sayid near Santa Rosa, New Mexico. That's when they saw a firearm in the car, Hartsock said.

More weapons were found by police who executed a search warrant at Saeed's home, according to police.

"Multiple firearms were recovered from the home and are being tested on an ongoing basis. We believe there are two matches: two crime scenes in Rhode Island and Cornell, which are the basis for the indictment going forward today," Hartsock added. } According to the complaint, Saeed told police, "Because of the bad conditions in Albuquerque, he drove to Texas to find a new place for his family to live. Muhammad then mentioned in the news that a Muslim had been shot dead." ' said.

CNN was at the suspect's home

Hours before police announced Said was the suspect, CNN was inside talking to his daughter about what happened when she last saw her father before he was arrested and before authorities executed a search warrant in the family's home. provided insight into what happened.

Syed's daughter, one of her six children, spoke to CNN Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, the family was still cleaning up the mess left by investigators who had searched the house the night before. Out of consideration for her daughter's safety, CNN chose not to name her.

"My father is not a killer. He always talked about peace. That is why we are here in America. We are from Afghanistan, I've been through fights and shootings," she said. CNN.