Police have released a surveillance video of a person of interest in the fatal stabbing of a 60-year-old Queens woman. The police are treating the slaying as a homicide, but the victim's relatives believe it's also a hate crime.
Nazma Khanam had been walking home with her husband from their souvenir shop on Wednesday night when she was attacked outside of 160-12 Normal Road in Jamaica. The Post reports that her husband had stopped at one point: "His asthma acted up, and the 60-year-old retired teacher walked ahead of him while he caught his breath. Just moments after his wife was out of view, the husband heard her let out a blood curdling scream — and sprinted to catch up with her. When he found Khanam, she was bleeding on the sidewalk with a piece of the knife sticking out of her, cops said."
"Somebody killed me," Khanam reportedly told her husband as he held her in his arms. Khanam was rushed to Jamaica Hospital and pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
The couple had come to the U.S. in 2009 and became citizens in June.
Khanam was wearing traditional Muslim clothing, and her family doesn't think she was the target of a would-be robber. A nephew told the Daily News "They didn’t take her phone, pocketbook, bag, nothing. We feel this is a hate crime... We want justice."
Earlier in the month, an imam and his assistant were fatally shot, execution-style, in Ozone Park, stoking fears that they were targeted because they were Muslim. (The suspect, who pleaded not guilty on Thursday, has yet to be charged with a hate crime).
"The thing that's very shocking is that this was 9 at night," resident Tahir Qayyum told CBS2. "The fact that a few weeks ago, an imam was killed, the election, the hate sentiment. I understand everything is going to say it was a hate crime, but I don't want to rush to judgement until the police clarify."
The authorities released video of a male person of interest in Khanam's killing:
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.