An imam and his assistant were both shot this afternoon in Ozone Park, Queens. One man is dead and the other is critically injured.
The imam, who has not been named, and assistant Thara Uddin were returning from praying at nearby mosque Al Furqan Jame Masjid at around 2 p.m. when an unknown assailant shot one man in the head and another in the chest near 79th Street and Liberty Avenue. Police said that both men were taken to Jamaica Hospital. One man succumbed to his injuries and the other is alive but in critical condition. Police have not yet clarified which of the men has died.
Police are reportedly investigating the shooting as a hate crime. “That’s not what America is about,” local resident Khairul Islam, told the Daily News. “We blame Donald Trump for this ... Trump and his drama has created Islamophobia.”
Kobri Chowdhury, the leader of the Masjid al Amam, echoed Islam's claim, telling the Post that the shooting was “just point blank [a] hate crime, hating Muslims.”
The NYPD was unable to provide more detail when contacted for comment, but we'll update when more information is available.