An imam and his assistant were shot and killed in broad daylight as they walked home from a mosque in Queens.
Police said a gunman walked up to religious leader, Maulama Akonjee, 55, on Saturday afternoon as he and his assistant, Thara Uddin, 64, were leaving the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque in Ozone Park.
Both men were rushed to Jamaica hospital, where Akonjee, a married father-of-three, was pronounced dead. His assistant died about fours later.
Imam Akonjee was described as a revered religious leader. He came to Queens from Bangladesh a little less than two years ago, according to the New York Daily News.
Earlier on Saturday, shortly after the shooting, a crowd of angry Muslim men gathered at the scene insisting it was a hate crime, saying the two men were specifically targeted.
That’s not what America is about,’ local resident Khairul Islam told the newspaper.
‘We blame Donald Trump for this … Trump and his drama has created Islamophobia.’