About Our People Legal Stuff Careers
Sandals lay on a street corner at the crime scene, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016, not far from the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid Mosque in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens, New York, where the leader of a New York City mosque has been fatally shot and an associate has been wounded in a brazen daylight attack. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

A New York City Imam and another man were shot and killed as they left a mosque


This undated sketch provided by the New York City Police Department on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016, shows a suspect believed to have shot the leader of a mosque and a friend in New York. Police in New York City are searching for the man who fatally shot the leader of a mosque and a friend as they left afternoon prayers, setting off fear and anguish among the community's Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants. Police said no motive had been established for the killing of Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and 64-year-old Thara Uddin Saturday afternoon near the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque. (New York Police Department via AP)

UPDATE: Police on Sunday released a sketch  of a dark-haired, bearded man with glasses.

Two Muslim men, including an imam were both fatally shot in the back of the head as they were leaving a mosque in Queens Saturday afternoon. 

Police said 55-year-old Imam Maulama Akonjee and another 64-year-old man were killed as they left the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque. 

Witnesses told a local CBS station that the imam had led a 1 p.m. prayer service and was walking home with another member of the mosque when a lone gunmen shot them in the street. 

The gunman is still at large and police have not yet given a motive for the killings. 

Both of the victims were dressed in traditional Muslim garb. The mosque serves a community of mostly Bangladeshi immigrants, CBS reported. 

Dozens of angry Muslim men gathered at the scene of the crime, denouncing the shooting as a hate crime, according to the New York Daily News

"We are devastated," said Kobir Chowdhury, president of a second neighborhood mosque. "We need to get to the bottom of this. We need to know if they did this just because of our religion."

Many blamed the shooting on the current political climate. 

"We blame Donald Trump for this... Trump and his drama has created Islamaphobia," Khairul Islam told the New York Daily News. 

Locals described Akonjee as a pious and well-respected member of the community.

"A family man has been lost and a scholarly imam has been lost and we are devastated and we want ... peace," Kobir Chowdhury told WCBS.

Read Comments
Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest Linked In List Menu Enlarge Gallery Info Menu Close Angle Down Angle Up Angle Left Angle Right Grid Grid Play Align Left Search Youtube Mail Mail Angle Down Bookmark