JAMAICA HILLS, Queens — The aunt of an NYPD transit officer was stabbed to death while on a nighttime walk with her husband in Queens, police said Thursday.
Nazma Khanam, 60, was walking about 9 p.m. Wednesday in front of 160-12 Normal Road in Jamaica Hills when she was stabbed after what sources say may have been an attempted robbery.
She was reportedly walking ahead of her husband when she was attacked. He was not able to save her in time.
"Her husband was behind her one and a half blocks away and he didn't see nothing," said Mohammed Rahman, a nephew of the victim. "She's just crying or something, 'Somebody kill me, somebody kill me,' and he's coming to help. He didn't realize somebody stabbed his wife."
Khanam was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Sources say it is unknown at this time if the attacker made off with any of Khanam's property. Her nephew said police told him they did not.
"This neighborhood, it's never happened like this," Rahman said. "I'm living here, like, six years."
Khanam's family believes her death could have been a hate crime because the victim was wearing traditional Muslim clothing when she was attacked, but police are not categorizing it as such.
Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce, who arrived at the scene about 7 a.m. Thursday, said there's nothing to indicate this incident was a hate crime.
Still, the Muslim community in Queens has been on edge since the execution-style deaths of an imam and his associate as they left services at an Ozone Park mosque in early August.
In that case, the victims were wearing religious attire but police have not commented on whether the shootings were a hate crime. The slayings happened about 5 miles from where Khanam was killed Wednesday night.
The victim is survived by three children. Two of them live in Bangladesh; the other lives in New York.
She was a retired teacher from Bangladesh who taught at the Shariatpur Government Girls High School, her family said. Khanam's husband is also a retired educator.
The NYPD Muslim Officers Society tweeted about the incident, saying Khanam was the aunt of a city transit officer.
"lets catch the perp," the group tweeted.
No arrests have been made in the slaying. Police have not released a description of the attacker.
Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or text 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577.
PIX11 News' Myles Miller and Narmeen Choudhury contributed to this report.