In what witnesses describe as a targeted attack, Imam Alala Uddin Akongi, 55, of Al-Furqan Jame Masjid Mosque in Ozone Park, Queens, was murdered this afternoon as he was walking home from afternoon prayers with his assistant Thara Uddin, 64. NewYork CBS local reports both men were shot in the head. Uddin died from his wounds 4 hours later. The killer, wielding a large handgun, fled the scene on foot.
New York’s PX11 TV reported, “According to sources, a man walked over to the men and allegedly shot them both.” Police sources originally said the motive appeared to be robbery. And the NY Daily News reported the police determined it was not a hate crime:
Police, without providing a motive, said initially that the shooting was not a hate crime. The gunfire erupted near a storage facility and a block away from the elevated A train station, officials said.
However, residents were not convinced:
— Samantha Liebman (@SamiLiebman) August 13, 2016
This is a developing story, and the New York Post now reports authorities are investigating it as a hate crime, and some residents are blaming Donald Trump.
“First it was two, and then he goes, ‘Boom! Boom! Boom!’ ” said the resident, who didn’t want to be named.
He looked out to see a man with a gun running down the street.
It appeared the shooter picked his targets, the resident said.
“There was a carload of people across the street, and a girl across the street, and he just targeted these two guys,” the resident said.
The violence quickly heightened tensions in the neighborhood, where residents didn’t hesitate to label the shooting a hate crime — and pinned the blame on Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has been accused of stoking racism with his campaign.
“Donald Trump is responsible!” some in the crowd yelled. Others chanted, “We want justice today, not tomorrow!” and“Hate crime!”