It’s a case that has many layers that, as The Paper. continues to peel away, add yet new details and insight into the family of the suspect charged with killing at least two Muslim men in Albuquerque.
The Paper is the first to report that according to details obtained from court documents filed today and in subsequent interviews with the district attorney’s office, one suspect who may have had involvement in the killings has had an active warrant for his arrest relating to a domestic violence charge for four months. But, prosecutors had done little to prepare to prosecute the case and Albuquerque Police did not provide the evidence needed until last week, days after two Muslim men had already been killed.
On Tuesday night, Maiwand “Shaheen” Syed, the son of Muhammad Syed, who has been charged with killing Aftab Hussein and Muhammed Afzaal Hussain, was arrested on federal charges of providing false information during the purchase of a firearm. According to federal court documents, Shaheen Syed, who changed his name from Maiwand, listed an address in Hallandale Beach, Florida, when he purchased two different weapons from Omni Arms: an AR-15 and an AK47. He made those purchases, according to the ATF, in July 2021. Shaheen does not live in Florida and law enforcement says they can’t find any record that he ever had lived there.
According to documents filed in Metropolitan Court, Shaheen has an active warrant for failure to appear on domestic violence charges stemming from an incident in February. On February 2, Albuquerque Police were called to the Syed home in Southeast Albuquerque in reference to Shaheen, who had hit his father and sister. When officers arrived, Shaheen already had left the house.
According to the criminal complaint, this was not the first time the sister was injured by Shaheen and taken into CYFD custody. On April 4, court records indicate that Shaheen failed to appear in court on the charge and a bench warrant was issued for Maiwand Syed for failure to appear. But more than two months after APD initially responded to the call and an officer subsequently filed a criminal complaint, the department had still not provided prosecutors with any of the evidence relating to the crime. They would not do so, according to the district attorney’s office, for another four months. That was days after the killings had begun.
On Thursday, August 4, four days before Shaheen’s father Muhammad was arrested and charged with the murders of Aftab Hussein and Muhammed Afzaal Hussain, the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office filed a prosecution packet containing evidence relating to Shaheen’s domestic violence case case from February.
On Friday, August 5, Naeem Hussain attended the funerals of Aftab and Muhammed Afzaal. Several hours later he was shot and killed near the Lutheran Family Services building in SE Albuquerque.
When asked why it took so long for the DA to receive the materials needed such as the 911 calls from Shaheen’s domestic violence case, Lauren Rodriguez, the Public Information Officer for the DA, said she didn’t know. Rodriguez said that it doesn’t usually take four months for the DA’s office to receive discovery information pertinent to the case.
The timing looks odd that the packet was filed just before both Muhammed and Shaheen were arrested, but Rodriguez said, “It was merely coincidental.”
What it does mean is that Maiwand “Shaheen” Syed was at least on the prosecution’s radar by August 4. APD knew for four months that he had an active warrant for his arrest. It’s not clear why police had not provided prosecutors with evidence needed to prosecute the case.
After appearing in Federal court Wednesday, Shaheen was remanded to custody until a later date. Muhammad Syed has said that he did not kill Aftab Hussein and Muhammed Afzaal Hussain. Police say they are looking at evidence to determine if Muhammad Syed is connected to the murders of Mohammad Zaher Ahmadi in November 2021 and the most recent murder of Naeem Hussein on August 5. Currently, the motive for the killings remains unclear.