The son of the man suspected of murdering four Muslim men in New Mexico may have been linked to some of the shootings, authorities said.
Shaheen Syed, 21, was detained on Tuesday for possible connection to the series of murders, according to federal court documents obtained by Metro.co.uk.
Shaheen is the son of Muhammad Syed, who, according to federal authorities, attacked four Muslim men in Albuquerque in “ambush-style” attacks. Mohammed was charged with two of the murders on Wednesday, and police identified him as the prime suspect in the other two.
Police have not confirmed whether the murders are classified as hate crimes, serial murders, or both.
Federal prosecutors on Monday filed a motion to hold Shaheen for the duration of the investigation, as they believe Shaheen may have been involved in the August 1 shooting of Muhammad Aftaal Hussain.
According to a ballistics report, two guns fired a total of 15 shots at Aftaal Hussain – a rifle and a pistol. The drive-by shooting was over in about 20 seconds.
Aftaal Hussain’s brother, Imtiaz Hussain, also believed several people were involved in the shooting.
“It is difficult for one suspect to use two weapons in such a short time,” says Imtiaz.
When police searched Muhammad Syed’s home in Albuquerque, they found two AK-47 rifles and a handgun.
When they searched Muhammad Syed’s Volkswagen Jetta, they found a fourth gun – a 9mm pistol – and several casings. One casing was from the gun, and two others matched the rifles and pistol.
Prosecutors also tied Shaheen to the August 5 murder of Naeem Hussain.
Cell tower data analyzed by police shows that Shaheen and his father were both in “the same common area” of victim Naeem’s murder.
“Phone calls between Muhammad Atif Syed and the defendant (Shaheen Syed) would be consistent with high-speed surveillance conversations both before and after the shooting,” prosecutors said.
Shaheen’s attorney John Anderson said the charges against his client were “extremely flimsy and speculative.”
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