Imam shooting suspect arrested on murder charge

Associated Press


A man suspected in the fatal shooting of an imam and his friend as they left a mosque in New York City has been arrested on charges of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

Charges against 35-year-old Oscar Morel, of Brooklyn, were upgraded Monday after police say they recovered a revolver at his home and clothes similar to that being worn in surveillance video that shows the gunman.

Morel was arrested Sunday after police say he hit a bicyclist 10 minutes after Saturday’s shooting in Queens.

It wasn’t immediately clear if he has an attorney who can comment on the charges.

Authorities have not said what prompted the daytime shooting of Imam Maulana Alauddin Akonjee and Thara Uddin.

At a funeral service for Akonjee, 55, and Uddin, 64, on Monday, passions ran hot. About 1,000 people, including New York City’s mayor, gathered Monday for the prayer service for the two men.

The motive of the gunman remains unknown, but the ceremony featured several speakers who said they believed the victims were targeted because of their religion.

Some members of the congregation shouted, “Justice!” periodically throughout the service.

After the ceremony, part of the crowd marched to the spot a few blocks away where the shooting took place.