Mosque slay­ing re­sult of road rage

Po­lice: Ar­gu­ment, not race, the cause


A morn­ing of prayer and re­flec­tion in the Is­lamic holy month of Ra­madan ended in tragedy when 17-year-old Nabra Has­sa­nen left her mosque with friends for a pre-dawn meal and was at­tacked with a base­ball bat.

Au­thor­i­ties said Nabra died of blunt force trauma to her up­per body af­ter Dar­win Martinez Tor­res, 22, came out of his car swing­ing the bat at her group of friends early Sun­day. Fair­fax County Po­lice said Mr. Martinez Tor­res ap­peared to be mo­ti­vated by road rage, not re­li­gious ha­tred, af­ter driv­ing up to the teenagers along the road.

Vig­ils were planned around the coun­try Tues­day to honor Nabra and stand in sol­i­dar­ity with her fam­ily, said Women’s Ini­tia­tive for Self-Em­pow­er­ment CEO Rana Ab­del­hamid. Groups in New York, Wash­ing­ton, Boston, Philadel­phia, San Fran­cisco, Los An­ge­les and Detroit were join­ing the ef­fort.

Another vigil, in Nabra’s home­town of Re­ston, Vir­ginia, is planned for Wed­nes­day.

Po­lice said an al­ter­ca­tion be­gan be­tween Mr. Martinez Tor­res and a teenage boy in the group who was rid­ing a bi­cy­cle. They have found no ev­i­dence to sug­gest Nabra’s killing was a hate crime.

“Noth­ing in­di­cates that this was mo­ti­vated by race or by re­li­gion. It ap­pears the sus­pect be­came so en­raged over this traf­fic ar­gu­ment that it es­ca­lated into deadly vi­o­lence,” said Fair­fax County Po­lice spokes­woman Julie Parker.

Many out­side ob­servers re­main deeply skep­ti­cal. Abas Sherif, a spokesman for the vic­tim’s fam­ily, said Nabra and all the other girls in her group were wear­ing Mus­lim head cov­er­ings and loose Is­lamic robes when the driver ap­proached.

“Road rage. In­deed. If you think for a minute that her ap­pear­ance had noth­ing to do with this crime, you’re ly­ing to your­self,” tweeted at­tor­ney Rabia Chaudry, a promi­nent Mus­lim ac­tivist who lives in the Wash­ing­ton sub­urbs.


Martinez Tor­res

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