Murder of Muslim Girl in Virginia Fueled by ‘Road Rage,’ Say Police

According to a preliminary investigation by Virginia’s Fairfax County Police, the murder of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen was fueled by road rage, not racial or religious hatred.

“It appears the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence,” stated Julie Parker, director of public affairs for the Fairfax police, during a news conference Monday evening.

After having an early Sunday breakfast at a nearby McDonald’s, Nabra and a group of teenagers, walking and riding bikes, were returning to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society for Ramadan prayers when Darwin A. Martinez Torres, 22, began driving behind them.

Torres argued with a boy on a bike and proceeded to drive his car onto the curb. The group of teenagers quickly ran away; however, Torres chased after them in his car, said detectives.

Catching up to them, Torres, native of El Salvador, exited his car and chased after the group with a baseball bat. He caught Nabra and struck her with the bat. He then put her into his car and drove her to another location, assaulting her again.

Nabra’s body was found Sunday evening at a manmade pond a few miles from the parking lot in Loudon country. The autopsy reported that she died from blunt-force trauma to her upper body.

Fairfax County police arrest Torres in a traffic stop less than two hours after the incident, seeing the car believed to be involved in the incident.

Torres was immediately charged with murder and is being held without bond. Immigration officials asked police to put a hold on Torres, keeping him for an additional 48 hours beyond the time he could otherwise be released.

According to Police Lt. Bryan Holland, “there was no indication of any racial slurs or any type of back and forth other than a verbal argument” during Torres’ interaction with the teenagers. “It was just an argument a driver and a bicyclist that was in the roadway.”

It’s not clear why the incident led to violence, said the police.

Nabra’s father, however, believes the crime was fueled by Nabra’s religion.

“He killed her because she’s a Muslim- this is what I tell the detective. Why was he running behind the kids wearing Islamic clothes with a baseball stick? Why, when my daughter fell down, why did he hit her? For what?” stated Mohmoud Hassanen, Nabra’s father.

“We don’t know this guy. He doesn’t know us. We don’t hate anybody because of religion or color. I teach my kids to love everybody,” continued Hassanen.

The murder has brought extreme sadness to the local Muslim community. Nabra’s friends gathered on Monday outside her home in Reston’s Cedar Ridge apartment complex, where more than 40 Muslim families live.

Her father grieved with friends and neighbors while her mother mourned in another apartment several doors away.

Nonetheless, the police maintain that the investigation has found no evidence that Nabra was targeted for her religion.

“At this point, what we know, is that Torres came up in his car behind this group of teens. Some were walking, some were on bikes, got into that argument with a boy on a bike, the group scattered,” stated Officer Parker.

“He drove his car up over a curb, and sort of up a hill, and then around and over into a parking lot, where to the best of our knowledge at this point, he simply caught up with Nabra.”

Many people disagreeing with the Fairfax police have angrily responded on Twitter. Some made a parallel with the 2015 killing of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, N.C., which police claimed spurred from a parking dispute.

“So the murder of #Nabra was ‘road rage,’ just like the murder of Deah, Yusor and Razan in Chapel Hill was a ‘parking dispute’? Unreal,” tweeted journalist Ali Abunimah.

“Not a road rage. Nabra was kidnapped & brutally murdered & thrown into a pond. It’s a hate crime. Full investigation needed,” tweeted peace activist and community organizer Faisal R Khan.

The Fairfax police asserted, “they understand there has been a lot of misinformation in the case.”

“Our goal at this point, having the suspect in custody, is to ensure that this case is prosecuted properly,” continued Officer Parker, “and that he gets the punishment that he deserves.”

Nonetheless, the Council on American Islamic Relations will be campaigning for a thorough investigation of a possible biased motive.

“We’d like to hear from the witnesses to the initial attack as to whether they heard any biased statements,” said Ibrahim Hooper, the council’s spokesperson. “Even if not, why is this individual targeting a group of people dressed in Muslim attire? Would they have been targeted if they hadn’t been of a certain faith or ethnicity? These are the kinds of questions we ask.”

“We are devastated and heartbroken as our community undergoes and processes this traumatic event,” said the ADAMS Center, the mosque Nabra attended. “It is a time for us to come together to pray and care for our youth.”

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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