Suspect Charged in Connection with Synagogue Shooting
A man has been federally charged in connection with shots fired outside a synagogue in Albany, New York, on Thursday. Mufid Fawaz Alkhader, a 28-year-old U.S. citizen born in Iraq, was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. According to the criminal complaint, Alkhader recently resided in Schenectady, New York.
Court Appearance and Detention Order
During a court appearance on Friday, Alkhader waived his right to a detention hearing and was ordered to be detained pending trial by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York.
Shooting Incident Details
No one was injured in the incident, where two shots were fired outside Temple Israel around 2 p.m. Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins stated that the direction of the shots is unknown. Hawkins mentioned in a news conference that responding officers were informed that the suspect made a comment saying, “Free Palestine.”
Details of Suspect’s Arrest
After the shooting, the suspect fled but was confronted by an individual in a vehicle in a parking lot. The suspect made a statement to this person about feeling victimized before dropping the shotgun. Officers arrived at the scene and apprehended the suspect. Chief Hawkins emphasized that Alkhader acted alone and that there is no further threat to the community. Additionally, no damage was done to the synagogue building.
Investigation and Possible Motives
The FBI, along with local, state, and federal agencies, is conducting an investigation into the incident. The FBI stated that they are working to determine any potential motives. The suspect was armed with a Kel-Tec KS7 12 gauge pump shotgun, which he was not allowed to possess due to being an unlawful user of a controlled substance, marijuana.
Potential Legal Consequences
If convicted, Alkhader faces up to 15 years in prison, up to 3 years of post-imprisonment supervised release, and a maximum fine of $250,000, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Government Response and Increased Security
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has directed the New York State Police and the New York National Guard to be on “high alert” at locations deemed at-risk, including synagogues, yeshivas, and community centers. This directive comes as Hanukkah begins. Mayor Eric Adams of New York City has stated that the New York City Police Department is already and will remain on heightened alert. Pre-planned security measures for public Menorah displays and lighting events are being implemented to ensure the right to practice faith in peace.
Read More of this Story at www.nbcnews.com – 2023-12-09 03:14:00
Read More Latest News