25 June, 2017
This announcement comes after the police in Fairfax County, Virginia, also confirmed they wouldn't be investigating the 17-year-old's murder as a hate crime, though she was killed and potentially assaulted after leaving her local mosque with a group of friends.
Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, is in custody for the homicide of Nabra Hassanen of Reston, Virginia, after he allegedly "became so enraged" that he hit her with a baseball bat, the Fairfax County Police Department said Monday.
Torres then allegedly took Hassanen in his vehicle to another location and attacked her again, and her body was found in a pond Sunday afternoon.
Torres has been charged with murder in connection to the case.
Hassanen's father remains convinced her religion drew the attacker to her.
"She is the age of my daughter", 44-year-old Springfield, Virginia resident Hela Elgengy said, holding back tears. They say Torres became enraged with the group of teens and exited his vehicle wielding a baseball bat, striking Nabra.
"Not a hate crime", Sergeant Anna Rose said, explaining that there was "no indication [Soloman] was there to desecrate that memorial". "We all think it's okay to just go and get food with our friends", Salem said.
ABC affiliate WJLA reported that hundreds of people were seen arriving at the teen's funeral today at her former mosque, All Dulles Area Muslim Society, in Sterling. Torres then took her to another location in Loudoun County, according to police, where she was assaulted again.
"I don't know the family", she continued. Police say a man fatally beat her with a bat in a weekend road rage incident early Sunday morning, and that it appears the attack was not a hate crime.
As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 26,000 people had signed an online petition urging the Virginia Division of Human Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the murder as a bias-fueled killing.
After the teen's funeral and burial, Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. spoke with The Associated Press about the community's concerns.
Nabra's father, Mahmoud Hassanen, said he believed it was a hate crime, regardless of what the police have said.
Others said they did believe the attack was a hate crime, though they can't understand why that would happen so close to home. However, police and some witnesses said the attacker appeared to be agitated by a traffic argument, not religious hatred.
FCPD says it is working closely with the Muslim community to assure them that they have police support and justice will be served. "We are upset. Our children are not safe", she said.
"In Islam, we are taught that the Uma, which means the community, is like a human body so when one part of the human body aches, the rest of the body aches", said Abdul Khadri. Martinez-Torres was appointed a public defender and spoke through a Spanish translator when answering questions put to him by a judge in the county jail.