NEWARK – The eldest son of a Muslim imam in New Jersey has been killed in the city park after an unidentified attacker opened fire on his vehicle, killing the imam’s son, an unidentified woman and injuring three more.
"There’s a war in our city and the good guys are losing," North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos, one of four candidates running for mayor this year, told New Jersey’s NJ.com on Tuesday, January 21.
"When street thugs can carry out a brazen attack in the middle of the day at a busy intersection in the heart of the Central Ward, it tells me that the city must immediately change direction from the status quo."
The attack occurred on Tuesday when neighbors heard as many as 15 shots while walking near the intersection of Springfield and Fairmount avenues in Newark.
People, indentified as relatives of the deceased were seen sobbing in the park near the crime scene.
The victim was identified as Akbar Muhammad, the oldest son of Imam Abdul Akbar Muhammad of Masjid Imam Ali K. Muslim Mosque in Newark who was sitting in the driver’s seat.
Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio added that an unidentified woman was also killed in what he termed as "targeted" attack.
"It’s a terrible thing, especially if you have only one person in that vehicle who is the target, and you have such a disregard for life that four other people are murdered or injured," Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio.
According to the victim’s friends, Muhammad was in his early 30s, and is survived by his parents and six siblings.
"He was a very popular and well-liked young man, always respectful anytime that I saw him, and my heart grieves for his mother, father and his brothers and sisters," said Amin Nathari, a longtime Muslim community activist and friend of the Muhammad family.
Nathari has also described the elder Muhammad as one of the most respected imams in the city.
Newark recorded 111 homicides in 2013, making it the city’s deadliest year since 1990.
Tuesday’s shooting sparked emotional reactions from several city leaders who saw it as a continuation of the crime surge.
"I don’t have any words. I really don’t have any words,” West Ward Councilman Ronald Rice Jr. said.
“What I will say is that the mayor and the council, on some level, we need to call a real citywide confab about this as soon as possible," he said.
"It’s beyond a public safety issue at this point. … It’s out of control."
The United States is home to a Muslim minority of between six to eight million.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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