By Darren Lyn
HOUSTON, Texas (AA) - Muhammad Syed, the suspect accused in a string of Muslim killings in the US state of New Mexico, was charged with a third murder count.
Syed, 51, was charged late Monday with the killing of Naeem Hussain, 25, who was shot to death in his vehicle in an Albuquerque parking lot on Aug. 5.
Syed was charged earlier this month with the July 26 murder of Aftab Hussein, 41, and the Aug. 1 killing of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27.
Albuquerque Police said Syed is also "considered the prime suspect" in the killing of Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, which occurred on Nov. 7, 2021.
"Our homicide detectives continue to work with prosecutors to ensure all victims receive justice in this tragic case," said Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina in a statement.
All four victims were of South Asian descent and the killings terrorized the Muslim community in Albuquerque until the suspect was arrested on Aug. 9.
Syed denied involvement in the killings during an interview with police, according to an arrest affidavit.
The latest murder charge came after detectives found surveillance video showing a gray Volkswagen sedan "fleeing the scene" following Hussain's shooting, which was linked to Syed.
During a search of his home, authorities found firearms and information showing Syed may have known the victims and that interpersonal conflict may have led to the killings.
One of the firearms recovered was linked to bullet casings found at the scenes of the killings of Aftab Hussein and Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, while casings for a handgun found in his car when he was stopped were linked to another shooting scene.
Syed has also been charged with four counts of tampering with evidence.
Syed's son, Shaheen Syed, 21, remains in custody on a charge of knowingly making false statements to investigators about the weapons and vehicle alleged to have been used in at least two of the killings.