Police are searching for suspects in a wave of attacks in New York City targeting Middle Eastern immigrants to the U.S., including one connected to the deaths of three business owners in Brooklyn.
According to WCBS-TV, the most recent incident was a stabbing Sunday morning in front of a mosque in Queens. The victim, a 57-year-old man who only identified himself by his first name, Bashir, said the man told him, “(Expletive) Muslim. I will kill Muslim” during the assault.
Bashir was treated for stab wounds on his head, back, leg, finger and along his side and released. The Associated Press reported that police believe his attacker is a Hispanic man in his 40s.
“He hit me, hit me, hit me, hit me,” Bashir said. “For like six or seven — I don’t know how many [times.]”
Bashir’s stabbing came two days after a 78-year-old clothing store owner, Vahidipour Rahmatollah, was shot to death in his store.
WNBC-TV reported that authorities have linked Rahmatollah’s murder to two other shootings, each of them using the same caliber gun and targeting male business owners of Middle Eastern descent. Police have released a sketch of the suspect, thought to be 5-feet-5 tall and weighing about 140 pounds.
Gothamist reported that the same kind of bullets used to kill Ramatollah were also used in the shootings of 59-year-old Isaac Kadare and 65-year-old Mohamed Gebeli at their own businesses.
The three killings have prompted local City Council member Jumaane Williams and New York Sen. Eric Adams (D-NY) to call upon the FBI to assemble a task force to pursue the suspect.
“I was shocked when I heard the word serial killer,” Williams said. “It’s not a word you hear often in New York City.”
Watch WNBC’s report on the multiple homicides in Brooklyn, posted Monday, below.