ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – KRQE News 13 has learned more about one of the men who was killed in a string of suspected murders of Muslim men in Albuquerque. Those who knew him described him as a “hard-working jokester with a heart of generosity”.
41-year-old Aftab Hussein was an immigrant from Pakistan. He’s one of three Muslim men killed in Albuquerque in the last nine months. His co-workers at Flying Star are shocked someone with such a kind, gentle soul is now gone. “Just a witty, hardworking guy, he was he was sharp,” described Andrew Skinner, a co-worker, and friend of Aftab.
“He always had two jobs. And that just kind of gives you an idea of how, how hard he worked. He preferred to be at work, we would always joke around with, as you could probably imagine, he had a slight language barrier, but, but that led to a lot of humor between us and the staff.”
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Hussein was shot and killed just outside his apartment complex on Rhode Island and Copper last week.
He worked at the Flying Star on Juan Tabo and Montgomery for the last six years after coming here from Pakistan. It was at Flying Star, he made his own family here in the U.S.
“He helped multiple employees here with their, just situations that they were going through in life. He always wanted to help everyone,” said Althea Osborn, Hussein’s manager.
She says one of her fondest memories of him was when he went above and beyond to help a coworker in need. “We’d like set up a donation jar for that employee and Aftab took, like his entire tip envelope every day for like two weeks and donated it to the other employee,” said Osborn.
Hussein had also recently gotten engaged and was preparing for married life. “He was really worried about needing, he was going to need some time, it was going to be a good couple of months off. And I just remember telling Aftab no, you’re going to still have your job when you come back as a married man,” said Skinner.
Now, his co-workers are trying to help him and his family back home by setting up a donation jar at the restaurant. “He and his brother came from Pakistan, his brother ended up in the U.K. and he ended up here. It’s kind of the only family I ever knew whenever I talked to him about his family. So that’s what we’re doing right now for him, that’s going to help with hopefully the funeral costs trying to get him back to his home,” said Skinner.
Anyone who wants to help donate to Hussein’s funeral costs can drop it off at Flying Star at 4501 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE.
The Albuquerque Police Department and FBI are investigating whether the same person killed Hussein and the other two Muslim men. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to that suspect.