Imam And Assistant Shot Dead By A Gunman
A Muslim Imam , Maulama Akonjee, 55 and his 64-year-old assistant were shot dead by a gunman on Saturday about 1:50 pm EDT (1750 GMT) while they were walking home from Saturday prayers. A police spokesman said that Imam and his assistant were approached from behind by a man who later shot them both in their head. Also Iman and his 64 year old assistant were wearing religious garb at the time of shooting. The motive behind this killings haven’t been determined yet, could it be because of their faith? The police is yet to figure it out.
This incident happened at a block away from AL-Furqan Jame Masjid in Ozone Park. The Witnesses said they saw a man holding a gun was seen leaving the scene of the shooting and the police have mentioned that the gunman had a medium complexion. Both Iman and his assistant were taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. But the doctors weren’t able to save them even after performing life-saving procedures. Maulama Akonjee, a married father-of-three, was pronounced dead as soon as they reached the hospital and his assistant passed away about four hours after the attack.
A crowd of angry Muslims from the nearby Muslim community gathered to protest and mourn at the place of gunshoot. While some said the shooting was a hate crime.
Imam Akonjee’s nephew Rahi Majid said “I’m not sure what kind of an animal would kill that man, He would not hurt a fly. You would watch him come down the street and watch the peace he brings.” 28 year old Rezwan Uddin, told the New York Daily News that “I was upset. I cried. He’s my uncle,”
Ahmed Zakria, a member of the mosque said that “Akonjee was leaving for Bangladesh in 10 days to attend his son’s wedding”
Sarah Sayeed, a member of New York mayor Bill De Blasio’s staff who works as a liaison with Muslim communities said. “I understand the fear because I feel it myself. I understand the anger, but it’s very important to mount a thorough investigation.”