Muhammad Syed convicted of ambush-style shooting in New Mexico

Photo of author


  • By Brandon Drenon
  • bbc news

Image source, police brochure

An Afghan refugee has been found guilty of murder in one of three deadly ambush-style shootings of Muslim men in the US state of New Mexico two years ago.

Muhammad Syed faces life in prison for killing Aftab Hussein, 41, on July 26, 2022. He still faces trial for the other two murders.

All three victims were found shot to death in Albuquerque within the span of a few weeks.

The killings sparked widespread fear within the city’s Muslim community.

The trial heard that Syed was armed with an AK-47 style rifle when he shot Mr Hussein from behind some bushes.

Prosecutors said the victim’s body was “destroyed” by 11 incoming wounds, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

Mobile phone data was seen at trial showing Syed was in the area when the shooting occurred.

A ballistics expert testified that shell casings and projectiles at the scene matched a gun found under Syed’s bed.

Defense attorneys argued that there was no evidence that Syed had actually pulled the trigger. They said they would file an appeal after the other two trials.

Syed did not testify and the defense did not call witnesses.

Prosecutors acknowledged at the end of the trial that Syed’s motive remains unclear.

No evidence was presented that he had ever interacted with Aftab Hussein before the shooting.

Deputy Prosecutor David Waymire said in court on Monday: “The best we know is that this could be a serial killer case where there is a motive that only they know and not something that we can really understand.”

Syed is also accused of killing Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, in a drive-by shooting on August 1, 2022.

He will also be tried for the murder of Naeem Hussain, 25, who was shot inside his vehicle on August 5.

Hussain had recently become a U.S. citizen and had just attended the funeral of two of the other shooting victims before he himself was attacked.

Syed was arrested on August 9, two days after police distributed a photograph of his vehicle.

Leave a comment