ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The son of an Afghan refugee suspected of fatally shooting four Muslim men in New Mexico will remain in custody pending trial on a charge that he allegedly provided a false address in a form when you bought a gun last year. .
Shaheen Syed, 21, appeared in US district court in Albuquerque Monday, and the judge granted a motion by federal prosecutors to keep him behind bars pending the ongoing investigation.
In their motion, prosecutors pointed to cellphone records they say show Syed possibly helped his father track down Naeem Hussain, a 25-year-old man from Pakistan who was fatally shot Aug. 5 in an agency parking lot. refugee resettlement in the southeast. Albuquerque.
“The evidence that officers have been able to gather thus far in this rapidly unfolding investigation is obviously alarming regarding the defendant’s brief and frequent communications with his father both before and after Naeem Hussain’s murder,” the motion reads.
Albuquerque police have charged Muhammad Syed, 51, with murder in the deaths of Aftab Hussein and Muhammad Afzaal Hussain. Hussein, 41, was killed on the night of July 26 after parking his car in the usual spot near his home. Afzaal Hussain, a 27-year-old urban planner who had worked on the campaign of a New Mexico congresswoman, was shot on the night of August 1 while on his night walk.
The elderly Syed is the main suspect, but has not been charged, in the death of Naeem Hussain and the murder of Muhammad Zahir Ahmadi, a 62-year-old Afghan migrant who was fatally shot in the head last November behind the market. property in the city.
Court documents filed in federal court provided more details about Naeem Hussain’s killing and said he had apparently been followed to Lutheran Family Services, the resettlement agency, after funeral services for two of the other shooting victims. Around 4:00 pm, shots were fired at his truck, hitting him in the head and arm.
Prosecutors say Shaheen Syed spoke to her father when his phone was somewhere in the general area of the Islamic Center of New Mexico and shortly thereafter her father’s phone rang in an area that included Lutheran Family Services.
After Hussain was fatally shot, Shaheen Syed’s phone was moved to an area closer to the crime scene, according to the motion. Ten minutes after the shooting, the motion states that the men shared a second call while their phones remained in the “general area of the murder.”
Syed’s attorney argued that prosecutors gave no indication of the size of the area his phone was in in relation to the shooting.
The Syed family home is just a few minutes’ drive from both the Islamic Center and Lutheran Family Services.
John Anderson, Shaheen Syed’s attorney, did not return messages seeking comment but said in court papers that the allegations against his client were “meager and speculative.”
“The US motion boils down to an effort to arrest the defendant for a crime he hasn’t even been charged with,” Anderson argued, referring to the killings of Muslim men.
Anderson also included a photo of a Florida driver’s license issued to Shaheen Syed in 2021, contradicting prosecutors’ claims that she posed as a Florida resident while making a purchase at an Albuquerque gun store.
Prosecutors also filed previous police reports of Shaheen Syed allegedly beating her father and sister and an unrelated incident in which he and his brother were allegedly involved in a shooting outside a Walmart.
Court documents indicate that two guns purchased by Syed and his father at an Albuquerque gun store in July had been partially painted white. The weapons were seized during a raid on the family’s home; and evidence determined that shell casings found in the July 25 and August 1 shootings matched the rifle belonging to Muhammad Syed.
Shell casings found at one of the crime scenes also matched a gun found in the elder Syed’s vehicle when he was taken into custody, according to a criminal complaint.
Muhammad Syed is scheduled to appear before a state district judge on Wednesday as prosecutors seek to have him held without bail pending trial on the two counts of murder.
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