Man charged with murder of imam and assistant in New York

No motive has yet been established for the shooting

Man charged with murder of imam and assistant in New York

Image: Craig Ruttle / AP/Press Association Images

A man has been charged with murder in connection with the murder of an imam and his assistant in New York.

Maulama Akonjee (55) and Thara Uddin (64) were shot dead after they left the Al Furqan Jame mosque in Queens shortly before 2pm on Saturday.

The pair were walking together along a street when the gunman approached them.

The New York Times reports that Oscar Morel (35) of Brooklyn has now been charged with two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

Police said the suspect, who was arrested on Sunday, had also been identified in connection with an unrelated hit-and-run incident that happened around ten minutes after the shooting.

No motive has yet been established for the shooting, with officers saying the possibility that the shooting was a hate crime is "certainly on the table".

Hundreds of people attended the funeral of the two murdered men early on Monday.

Speaking a news conference after attending the funeral, New York mayor Bill de Blasio said: "I assured members of the Bangladeshi community and the Muslim community all over this city that the killer will be brought to justice. The NYPD is well on its way [on] bringing this case to fruition and bring justice to a community that is hurting so deeply right now.

"It is a painful time, but it's a time where we will reaffirm that this city believes an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us."