Killing of Muslim teen being probed as road rage incident

Nabra was walking with friends early Sunday after leaving the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center mosque when they were confronted by a man in a auto who got into a dispute with the girls, exited his vehicle and to assaulted the victim, police said in a statement.

A 22-year-old man named Darwin Martinez Torres was stopped during the police search for "driving suspiciously in the area" and charged with murder, Fairfax County Police Department said.

"It appears that the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence", Parker told journalists.

Police say the girl was walking outside with a group of friends when they got into an altercation with a man in a vehicle.

The 17-year-old and a group of friends were walking back to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque from a McDonald's in the Sterling area between 3 and 4 a.m. Sunday when a man drove up and some kind of altercation ensued. "We don't know him, he don't know us", said Mahmoud Hassanen, of Reston, whose daughter Nabra was allegedly killed by Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling.

The murder of a teenage Muslim girl in Virginia who was attacked after an all-night prayer session at her mosque is being probed as a road rage incident - and not a hate crime. Later, at about 15:00, police found the remains in a pond some three miles (five kilometres) from the scene of the incident, police said in a statement.

After Hassanen and her friends were approached by a motorist, later alleged to be Martinez Torres, all but Hassanen fled to a nearby mosque to seek refuge.

Authorities later found her body in a pond. He is originally from El Salvador and had no prior encounters with ICE, a spokeswoman said. A judge appointed him a public defender, whose office declined comment.

Police did not say why they are not investigating the murder as a hate crime in their intial tweet, but many on social media immediately questioned the decision.

"I think it had to do with the way she was dressed and the fact that she's Muslim", Hassanen's mother told the newspaper in a statement.

Later on Monday, Fairfax County police said in a news release the incident was apparently linked to road rage. ADAMS is Northern Virginia's largest mosque and, with 11 chapters around the District and Northern Virginia, is among the nation s most well-known congregations. As they walked together, a vehicle pulled up to the group with a lone driver inside who confronted them causing all of them to disperse leaving Hassenen behind.

An argument erupted between him and one of the teenagers, a boy on a bicycle, and he drove his vehicle onto the curb in a fit of anger, the police said. Relatives later identified Hassanen, the Washington Post reported.

  • Larry Hoffman