Shooting kills imam in Newark, New Jersey

An investigation is underway to determine the motive for the shooting of the imam identified as Hassan Sharif.

Masjid Muhammad-Newark Imam Hassan Sharif while delivering a sermon in this image. – Masjid Muhammad-Newark
  • Officers found Sharif lying in the parking lot.
  • The motive for the shooting is under investigation.
  • The imam was in critical condition and declared deceased.

Newark authorities said Wednesday that a mosque imam was shot and killed on South Orange Avenue and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

When authorities arrived at the scene, Sharif was found lying in the parking lot, 10 feet from the mosque entrance.

An investigation is underway to determine the motive for the shooting of the imam identified as Hassan Sharif.

According to local media, the New Jersey spokesperson also confirmed the shooting death of the imam of the Masjid Muhammad-Newark.

The imam was taken to the hospital in critical condition, where he was later declared deceased.

State Attorney General Matthew Plotkin said bias did not appear to be the motive for the shooting.

“This investigation is ongoing, but at this time we do not have any information to suggest the crime was motivated by bias,” Plotkin said in a statement.

The Attorney General also noted: “Of course, all possible angles will be explored and all leads will be thoroughly investigated to bring the perpetrator(s) to justice.”

Gov. Phil Murphy urged people to come forward and share any information about the shooter.

He said: “At a time when the Muslim community is concerned about a rise in incidents of bias and crime, I want to assure the Muslim community and people of all faiths that we will do everything in our power to keep people safe. all residents, especially in or near our places of worship.”

A spokesperson for the nonprofit CAIR-NJ said in a statement that Sharif was a model of leadership in the community.

The statement noted that “we are shocked by the news of the shooting at Masjid Muhammad in Newark, New Jersey, during Fajr (pre-dawn) prayers. At this time, we have no information regarding the perpetrator’s motive.”

The statement also added: “Imam Hassan Sharif is a model of leadership in his community and we pray for his speedy and complete recovery. We ask others to do the same. “As always, and regardless of this specific incident, we advise all mosques to keep their doors open but exercise caution, especially given the recent rise in anti-Muslim intolerance.”

According to local media reports, the deceased imam also worked as a transportation security officer at Newark Liberty International Airport since 2006.

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