QUEENS — The 35-year old Brooklyn man accused of fatally shooting an imam and his friend was indicted Monday in Queens Criminal Court.
Oscar Morel is charged with first-degree murder for the Aug. 13 Ozone Park deaths of Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin. Morel was also charged with two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
“The defendant’s alleged actions strike at the very heart of our county’s Muslim community,” said District Attorney Richard Brown in a statement. “Both victims were gentle men of peace and their deaths are a devastating loss to their families and the community that they served. I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the victims and assure them that the law enforcement community will work tirelessly to ensure that justice is done in this case.”
Akonjee, the 55-year-old imam, died at the scene from gunshot wounds to the head an torso. He sustained injuries to his brain, heart, lungs and liver.
Uddin died in the hospital from a gunshot wound to the head.
A ballistics test found that the bullets that killed the imam and Uddin came from the revolver found in Morel’s East New York home, police said. Video shows Morel at the scene. The motive for the shooting is not yet clear.
Morel faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted. He is due back in court Sept. 1.