Brutal slaying near mosque stemmed from road rage

Cameron Gross
June 20, 2017

A morning of prayer and reflection in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan ended in tragedy when 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen left her mosque with friends for a pre-dawn meal and was attacked with a baseball bat. Immigration authorities put a detainer on him, saying he's a citizen of El Salvador and there's probable cause to believe he lacks permission to be in the U.S. A 22-year-old man has been arrested and charged with murder. Torres was able to catch Nabra and hit her with the bat.

Police said Martinez Torres attacked the girl after getting into a fight with another teen in the group and they have found no evidence to suggest Hassanen's killing was a hate crime.

Vigils are planned around the country Tuesday to honor Hassanen and stand in solidarity with her family, said Women's Initiative for Self-Empowerment CEO Rana Abdelhamid.

A police statement Monday says "this tragic case appears to be the result of a road rage incident involving the suspect, who was driving and who is now charged with murder, and a group of teenagers who was walking and riding bikes in and along a roadway".

Although police said there was no indication religious hatred was the motive for the crime, Mahmoud Hassanen wondered why the children, wearing traditional Muslim attire, were targeted.

Attorney Rabia Chaudry, a prominent Muslim activist, tweeted "Road rage".

A pond where the body of a teenage Muslim girl was found is shown on Monday, June 19, 2017, in Sterling, Va.

Police say the girl and her friends were walking back from a McDonald's in northern Virginia early Sunday when they got into a dispute with a man in a auto.

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The attack took place at about 3.40am as up to 15 teenagers, who had attended prayer services at the mosque, were returning from a fast-food restaurant, Fairfax County police spokeswoman Julie Parker said.

A hate crime in Virginia is defined in part as a crime directed against a person because of the person's race, religion or national origin.

He has been charged with her murder and is now being held without bail pending a court appearance on 19 July. He was ordered held without bond pending a July 19 court appearance. They said that when the auto pulled up beside them and slowed down, they thought the driver might even be a friend playing a joke.

Hussein's friends called police and a frantic search was mounted for the girl to no avail.

Police recovered a baseball bat believed to be the murder weapon from the area.

The All Dulles Area Muslim Society (Adams) mosque in Sterling, the biggest in northern Virginia, holds extra late-night prayers during the last 10 days of Ramadan.

A potential hate crime is one of the possible motives under investigation, the Washington Post reported.

Other reports by BadHub

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