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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

NYC imam shooting suspect caught

New York City -- An arrest was made in the shooting of an imam and his associate in the Queens neighborhood of Ozone Park. on Saturday. The shooting took place near the Al-Fuquan Jame Masjid (mosque).

The suspect was denied bail Tuesday afternoon during his first court appearance.

No motive has been revealed regarding the murders but the Muslim community want it registered as a hate crime, which has not been taken off the table by the NYPD.

Oscar Morel, 35, was taken into custody and charged with first and second-degree murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. That is, the gun that he used was illegally obtained in spite of the strict NewYork City gun laws and substantiates the Second Amendment advocates who say that most urban shootings are by illegal guns, not those obtained legally.

Prosecutors said the rounds used to kill Imam Maulana Alaudding Akonjee and Thara Uddin came from the gun recovered at Morel's Brooklyn home on Monday night.  

Morel was approached by police late Sunday night while he was in a car that matched the description of an unrelated hit-and-run incident by an SUV that matched the shooting suspect's getaway vehicle.

"Detectives from the Fugitive Task Force Unit approached the car, and then he rammed the detective's car several times in an effort to get away," said Robert Boyce, the NYPD's chief of detectives. "He was placed under arrest without any further incident and brought back to the precinct for more debriefing."

The vehicle was recorded on surveillance video near the scene of the shooting and was a black GMC Trailblazer. Around 10 minutes later, a car matching the vehicle's description struck a bicyclist in Brooklyn.

When Morel was brought in for processing, he was first charged in connection to the hit-and-run, but the charges were upgraded Monday night after police found the gun and similar clothing worn by the gunman in the video.

The New York Post reported that Morel had admitted to police that he was the guy at the scene who was caught on video of sneaking up on the two men, but pulled a "Hillary" saying "I did not shoot the guy." 

On Monday morning around 1,000 people gathered at an Islamic funeral service for Akonjee, 55, and Uddin, 64. 

There were several speakers at the funeral saying that they believed (aka "felt") the victims were targeted because of their religion. Some congregants shouted, "Justice!" every so often during the service.

It is not known as to whether or not anyone from the mosque actually thanked the police for capturing the suspected killer, but that would have been a different form of justice.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a staunch socialist who calls himself a Democrat, told the crowd that the entire city was "mourning with you."

Alvin Morel, the shooter's brother, told The Post that the shooting wasn't a hate crime and the hatred his brother had for Muslims after 9/11 had been "only temporary" and that he "now has no hate for Muslims."

Admittedly, he showed his indifference toward Muslims in a strange way, if he killed them for that reason.

"We're Catholic-school kids; we don't do this," Alvin said. "He's a good guy."

I don't believe that having gone to Catholic-school influenced Oscar one way or the other.