Brutal Slaying Near Mosque Stemmed from Road Rage

Nabra Hassanen, 17, was brutally beaten to death by 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres as she was leaving a mosque on Sunday (18 June).

A "tragic case of road rage" is how police are describing the murder of a Muslim teenager in Fairfax County.

Detectives told Nabra's mother that the teenager was struck with a metal bat, the Washington Post reported.

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

Police say the girl and her friends were walking back from a McDonald's in northern Virginia early Sunday when they got into a dispute with a man in a vehicle.

Martinez Torres was held without bond following a brief arraignment Monday in Fairfax County juvenile court. Torres has been arrested and charged with murder.

Many feared it was another hate crime targeting Muslims, coming shortly before a man driving a truck in London plowed into a group of people who had just finished Ramadan prayers.

He then allegedly loaded Hassanen into his auto and dumped her in a pond in neighbouring Loudoun County.

Aboras and Rizwan Jaka, board chairman for the ADAMS Center mosque, told the station they're calling for a full investigation into the crime's motive.

Hassanein was killed near a mosque in Virginia and the 22-year-old Darwin Martinez is charged with her murder.

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson told NBC Washington that Torres, who is originally from El Salvador, was living in the U.S. illegally, and officials filed a detainer against him. Why would you kill a kid?

Abas Sherif, a spokesman for the victim's family, said Nabra and the other girls in her group were wearing Muslim head coverings and loose Islamic robes when the driver approached.

A police spokeswoman told reporters the attack followed some sort of dispute between the man and the girls, and authorities had not ruled out hate as a motivation for the attack. The statement follows a previous one that says the department uncovered what detectives believed to be Hassanen's remains in an area pond nearly 12 hours after she was reported missing early yesterday morning.

ADAMS is the acronym for the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, the mosque that Hassanen had worshipped at in suburban Washington, D.C., in the pre-dawn hours Sunday before heading to a restaurant with friends for breakfast. They said and they have found no evidence to suggest Hassanen's killing was a hate crime. The man got out of his vehicle with a baseball bat, and the group immediately ran back to ADAMS. Witnesses say Torres caught up with them a short time later in a nearby parking lot and got out of his auto armed with a baseball bat and began chasing the group.

The victim's father, Mahmoud Hassanen, disagreed with police, saying the crime was motivating by his daughter's religion.

It is not playing the victim card to acknowledge that hate exists in the USA, and that law enforcement officials and media outlets are contributing to the disproportionate misrepresentation and misclassification of crimes against Muslims. Anti-Muslim and anti-South Asian hate crime levels wouldn't be the highest they've been since post-9/11.

He added: "When I go to court I'm going to look him in the eye: 'Why did you do this to my daughter?' Then I'm going to forgive him and leave him to God's face".

  • Julie Sanders