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Police looking for suspect who shot Imam outside Newark mosque

New Jersey police are looking for a suspect in the shooting of an Imam outside a Newark Mosque Wednesday morning. File Image by Simaah/Pixabay
New Jersey police are looking for a suspect in the shooting of an Imam outside a Newark Mosque Wednesday morning. File Image by Simaah/Pixabay

Jan. 3 (UPI) -- New Jersey police are looking for a person who shot and killed an Imam outside a Newark mosque early Wednesday.

Imam Hassan Shariff was shot outside the Masjid Mumammad Mosque at around 6:30 a.m. and died at around 2:20 p.m., NBC reported, citing law enforcement sources.

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he was praying for Shariff but did not have any additional information on a possible motive.

"At this point, we do not have any information about the perpetrators or motivation behind this incident, but I know law enforcement will provide updates as they become available," Murphy said in a press release Wednesday.

Murphy also sought to reassure the Muslim community amid increased hate crime.

"At a time when the Muslim community is concerned by an increase of bias incidents and crimes, I want to assure the Muslim community and people of all faiths that we will do everything in our power to keel all residents safe, especially in or near our houses of worship," Murphy continued.

Murphy also urged any members of the public with information to come forward to the police.

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Law enforcement said there was no evidence of a biased motive so far.

"At this time, we do not have any information suggesting the crime was motivated by bias," N.J. Attorney General Matthew Platkin said in a statement Wednesday.

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