Muslims question whether girl's killing was road rage
Jun 21, 2017, 06:45
An autopsy found that Nabra suffered blunt-force trauma to her upper body.
Virginia police officials initially said there is no indication the 17-year-old was targeted because of her religion and that her killing was a "road rage incident" as she and a group of other teens walked and biked along a street headed back to a mosque early Sunday. Torres has been charged with one count of second-degree murder. Rather, the police said it was because of 22-year-old illegal immigrant Darwin Martinez Torres' road rage.
The teens were returning to the mosque along Dranesville Road near Woodson Drive in Herndon when they encountered Martinez Torres.
During an intense search for Hassanen on Sunday, an officer stopped a suspicious auto and Martinez Torres was taken into custody, police said earlier. "It appears the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence", Parker said.
And her mosque, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, announced plans for her funeral Wednesday and encouraged people to come together and "respond to bad with good".
According to witness, 17-year-old Nabra Hussein was with a group of teens from their mosque when they were accosted by a man in a red vehicle who shouted insults at them. A 22-year-old Virginia man was held on a murder charge Monday in the slaying of the girl, who wa.
An ICE spokeswoman declined to provide further details about Martinez Torres' immigration status.
"He killed her because she's a Muslim - this is what I tell the detective", Hassanen said. Earlier this year, a Trump supporter gunned down two Indian software engineers who he mistakenly believed to be Muslim, killing one.
Police tell PEOPLE there is no evidence that points to a hate crime.
Abas Sherif, a spokesman for the victim's family, said Nabra and all the other girls in her group were wearing Muslim head coverings and loose Islamic robes when the driver approached. "Indeed. If you think for a minute that her appearance had nothing to do with this crime, you're lying to yourself".
Police have not identified Hassanen, but her father confirmed she was the victim in Sunday's attack. In court, Torres was appointed a federal defender, though the 22-year-old told the judge that "his aunt may hire him a lawyer; he was hoping she would", Morrogh said.
Ezickson said Tuesday his organization is monitoring the investigation and has "every confidence in law enforcement to determine what happened to Nabra and whether the circumstances of her death merit a hate crimes charge". A female body was found at about 3 p.m. Sunday in a pond in Sterling; the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will provide identification and determine the exact cause and manner of death.
Police say the girl and her friends were walking back from a McDonald's in northern Virginia early Sunday when they got into a dispute with a man in a vehicle.
The aunt said Martinez Torres was at a Sterling park with her mother hours before the incident.
Police are not now investigating the murder as a hate crime.
"You can't just say, 'Oh, he didn't say anything against Islam, so no hate crime, '" he said.
A hate crime in Virginia is defined in part as a crime directed against a person because of the person's race, religion or national origin.
Meanwhile, Muslim groups planned vigils around the country Tuesday to honor Hassanen. He is held without bond, police said.
When they regrouped at the All Dallas Area Muslim Society Center in Sterling at around 4 a.m., they realized that Hassanen was missing.
"We are devastated and heartbroken as our community undergoes and processes this traumatic event", ADAMS said in a statement.
Neighbors who gathered in and outside the Hassanens' apartment Sunday night, both Muslim and Christian, described the teen as unusually respectful, calling older neighbors "sir" and "ma'am" and helping watch small children both at home and at the mosque.
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