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Man charged with killing of New York imam and assistant

By Shawn Price
A 35-year-old Brooklyn man was charged Monday with the killing of an imam and his assistant, police said. Oscar Morel, was arrested Sunday not officially charged until Monday. Photo by Carl Ballou/Shutterstock
A 35-year-old Brooklyn man was charged Monday with the killing of an imam and his assistant, police said. Oscar Morel, was arrested Sunday not officially charged until Monday. Photo by Carl Ballou/Shutterstock

NEW YORK, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- A Brooklyn man has been charged for the shooting deaths of an imam and his assistant, police said Monday night.

Oscar Morel, 35, was arrested Sunday after police tied him to a hit and run approximately a mile from the shooting. Investigators also found a revolver and clothes that match what the killer was wearing in a video of the two men being shot in back of the head. He was officially charged Monday.

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Morel faces two counts of second-degree murder for shooting and killing Maulama Akonjee, 55, and Thara Uddin, 65, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, police said. The gun was found inside a section of the man's apartment wall that had been cut open and resealed.

The man's brother, Alvin said there was no anti-Muslim hatred in his family.

"The only time we felt, everybody in New York felt, a hatred, was during 9/11," he said. "Other than that, we never felt a hatred with nobody."

Amado Baptista, Morel's landlord, expressed shock as well.

"He never talked about anything like that. I don't understand how he could have done anything like this," he said.

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