ALBUQUERQUE, NM ( Associated Press) – Officers investigating the killings of four Muslim men said on Sunday they needed help finding the vehicle linked to the deaths in New Mexico’s largest city.
Albuquerque police said they released photos of the vehicle used in the four murders in the hope that people could help identify the car. Police said the vehicle sought is a dark gray or silver four-door Volkswagen with darkened windows, and appears to be a Jetta.
Police did not say where the photos were taken or what led them to suspect the car was involved in any crime.
“We have a very, very strong relationship,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said on Sunday. “We have a vehicle of interest … we have to find this vehicle.”
Police are still trying to find out if there is any connection in these murders. A Muslim man was killed in Albuquerque on Friday night and three Muslim men were killed in ambush shootings in the past nine months.
Police said on Saturday that the victim of the latest murder was a South Asian Muslim who is believed to be in his 20s.
The man, whose identity has not yet been confirmed by investigators, was found dead after police received a call to shoot.
Earlier this week, police confirmed that local detectives and federal law enforcement officials were looking for possible links between the separate crimes.
Two persons – Mohammad Afzal Hussain, 27, and Aftab Hussain, 41 – were killed last week, and both were from Pakistan and members of the same mosque. The third case involved the murder of 62-year-old Mohammed Ahmadi, a Muslim of South Asian descent, in November.
Police declined to say whether Friday night’s murder was carried out in the same manner as the other deaths.
Officials said they cannot yet say whether the shootings were a hate crime until they can identify a suspect and determine a motive.
“We will bring this person or these individuals to justice,” Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said on Sunday.