Police make arrest in fatal shooting of imam, associate

Police on Monday arrested the man suspected of fatally shooting an Islamic religious leader and his associate in Queens.



Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and Thara Uddin, 65, were shot in the back of the head in broad daylight as they left a mosque Saturday in Ozone Park. Both men were later pronounced dead.



The suspect, identified as 35-year-old Oscar Morel, will be charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon. Morel, a Brooklyn resident, was taken into custody in East New York late Sunday night after allegedly getting into a collision with an unmarked police car.



The Hate Crimes unit is helping with the investigation, but police say that there is no reason to believe the incident was a hate crime at this point.



The Council on American-Islamic Relations is offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest. Investigators are also asking anyone with information to call police.



Funeral services were held Monday in East New York for both victims. Mayor Bill de Blasio was in attendance and said there will be extra police presence outside of mosques.



A motive for the shooting has not yet been determined.


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