ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Wednesday Muhammad Syed’s son — was also arrested. The son is facing federal charges — in connection to guns he purchased last summer.
Shaheen Syed — the murder suspect’s son — is in custody after a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms discovered he gave a false address when buying guns. Police say they’re still combing through evidence to see if Syed’s father did indeed act alone.
The community is still grappling with the loss of four Muslim men – murdered in Albuquerque – as police try to figure out why. “Together they were good people and weren’t known for anything controversial, didn’t have any violent tendencies altogether. I think really good people that we suffered, that we suffered as a loss because of their loss,” said Ahmad Assed – the president of the Islamic Center of New Mexico.
Assed described each victim as good men in their community. “Why we’re disappointed was we could not recognize this person to be a violent person. And so the disappointment is, should we have known more? Should we have picked up on anything?
- August 4: Police: 3 separate murders of Muslim men in Albuquerque could be related
- August 6: Homicide could be connected to other Muslim shootings
- August 7: APD seeks vehicle of interest in homicide investigation
- August 8: Victim’s brother speaks out as police investigate if Muslim murders are connected
- August 8: Muslims fleeing Albuquerque, Afghan community remembers 4th victim
- August 9: Suspect arrested in murders of Albuquerque Muslim men
Muhammad Imtiaz Hussain – the brother of one of the murder victims – Muhammad Afzaal says he was shocked to find out the murder suspect was Muhammad Syed -a man he’s talked with at the mosque and community gatherings. Imtiaz said, “I have met this man on Eid and Ramadan. This month in Islamic Center. I have never gone to his house. I don’t know more details. So for what I know, this was a man, he had family and his kids. He was coming in the Islamic center here.”
Imtiaz has no idea why Syed would want to kill his brother – a well-known, and well-liked city planner in Española. He shares, “It seems to me very complicated, something organized, pre-planned, premeditated, organized and worked out murder plan.”
The Albuquerque Police Department is still investigating the motive and the greater Islamic community is conflicted about the news of Syed’s arrest. “I think it was a sense of relief, to be honest with you, in one way. And then obviously disappointment in another,” said Assed.
He says the relief comes from knowing the gunman was not affiliated with a hate group and wasn’t targeting the victims because they were Muslim. “You know, there’s there isn’t anything good about what we’re what we’re dealing with. Right. But this could have been a much larger, more problematic scenario for the entire community,” said Assed.
Syed has had run-ins with the law before. He was arrested in 2020 for resisting and evading officers after police say he ran a red light, refused to pull over, then told police he wanted to go to jail.
In 2017 he was charged with battery. Police say he attacked his daughter’s boyfriend at the time. The boyfriend told police Syed didn’t want him in a relationship with his daughter. Online records show Syed’s daughter and the man got married out-of-state in Cleveland, Ohio four years ago.
Imtiaz says while he knows Syed is behind bars, he still has his worries. “Although there’s generally no fear, but still we are scared that those people who have killed my brother can come after me that he says invites might be the killer is alone might be a group.”
Each of Syed’s previous cases were dismissed in court. Muhammad Syed’s son Shaheen also has a criminal past including battery charges against family members. In late February, officers were called to a southeast apartment because Shaheen was allegedly hitting his father and sister. Shaheen did have an active warrant for this case before his arrest today.
Both Syed and his son are in custody. Shaheen will appear before a federal judge again on Monday.