5 Questions About the Murder of Muslim Teen Nabra Hassanen

The murder Muslim Va. teen Nabra Hassanen during the holy month of Ramadan has many of you asking -- how can this NOT be a hate crime? It's a complex answer, but religious leaders are standing by the police investigation.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - The murder of Virginia Muslim teen Nabra Hassanen during the holy month of Ramadan has many of you asking questions. Here are the answer to some of the most common questions we're seeing, and what we know so far:

Was this a hate crime?

Fairfax County Police said they don't have any evidence that points to a hate crime. They said Nabra's accused killer, 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres, was violent with road rage.

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However, Fairfax County's prosecutor said he's not ruling out hate as a motive.

Some sources report Nabra's father, Mahmoud Hassanen, said he thinks his daughter was attacked for being Muslim.

CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Affairs, is urging police to look thoroughly into it. On Tuesday, religious leaders from Nabra's community held a news conference at which they said they trust the police and trust they'll do the right thing. Nabra's father stood by them.

Why were Nabra Hassanen and her teenage friends out walking at 3:40 a.m. Sunday?

Nabra was walking with a group of friends back to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society— or ADAMS Center—after getting a bite at McDonald's. It was during the last few days of Ramadan when it's encouraged for children to stay up late and pray all night. The kids were likely eating a pre-dawn meal called suhoor, before the sun rises and their fast begins.

What do we know about the man police say killed Nabra, 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres?

He lives in Loudoun County. He's from El Salvador. The day after Nabra was killed, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement confirmed it launched a detainer against Torres. That usually happens to people who are arrested and believed to be in the country illegally or have violated the terms of their legal status.

Didn't Torres take Nabra and put her in his car? Why isn't he facing abduction charges?

Fairfax County Police did say "Torres took Nabra in his car to a second location nearby in Loudoun County."  Fairfax County's prosecutor said they are investigating to see whether they will charge Torres with anything else.

Why Nabra? She was with a group of more than a dozen teens.

Police said Torres chased the group with a baseball bat and was able to reach Nabra. The Washington Post reports that Nabra's mother said a detective told her Nabra had tripped over the abaya she was wearing and fell to the ground just before Torres struck her with the bat.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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