Authorities: Teen slain after leaving mosque, man arrested

Police in Virginia say "road rage" prompted the killing 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen.

Police charged 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres with murder.

The Fairfax County Police Department said they believe the killing was sparked by a fight Martinez Torres got into with a teenage boy on a bike.

Torres - already enraged by the argument - caught up with the group at a nearby parking lot, got out of his auto and then began chasing them while armed with a baseball bat, police said. He appeared in court on Monday to face one count of second-degree murder.

A spokesperson for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told the outlet on Monday that it had lodged a detainer request against him following his arrest.

Martinez Torres has been charged with murder.

The joint county investigation has led to an individual being taken into custody as a suspect. But many American Muslims are skeptical. News accounts reported that she was struck with a baseball bat; Wright said investigators were trying to confirm that.

Hassanen's mother, Sawsan Gazzar, told the Washington Post her daughter was not ordinarily religiously observant, but that she frequented the mosque during Ramadan.

Shoyeb Hassan, co-chair of ADAMS, told the Postthat during the last 10 days of Ramadan, "the mosque has extra prayers at midnight and 2 a.m., and members frequently go to McDonald's or the 24-hour IHOP to eat before they start their fast at sunrise, as Nabra and her friends were doing".


In an interview with the Guardian, the father of Nabra Hassanen said he's absolutely certain his daughter was killed because of her Muslim faith.

Anti-bigotry group Muslim Advocates said in a statement earlier in the day that it urged "both local and federal authorities to conduct a thorough and unbiased investigation into all possible motives for this gruesome crime". Hassanen's body was found later in a pond.

The attack happened early on Sunday after the victim and several friends walking outside the mosque got into a dispute with a motorist in the community of Sterling, the Fairfax County Police Department said in a statement. As they were returning to the mosque, some were on the sidewalk and others were on the road itself.

A hate crime in Virginia is defined in part as a crime directed against a person because of the person's race, religion or national origin.

A local congresswoman, Barbara Comstock, said: "We are heartbroken and horrified by the news of the brutal murder of a handsome 17-year old girl". He was ordered held without bond pending a July 19 court appearance.

Police did not reveal the details of the argument between the teen on the bicycle and Torres.

The teenager had been participating in a sleepover at a religious institution that authorities did not identify.

A tight-knit Muslim community in the suburbs of Washington was in shock on Monday after a 17-year-old girl was apparently beaten to death and dumped in a pond following late-night prayers at the local mosque.

"Anyone want to explain to me why this isn't being investigated as a hate crime?"

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