Three teenagers are expected to be charged in the purse snatching murder of Rabia Mohammed, in Queens, New York, the New York Times has reported.
According to the report, on Sunday the police announced that Tiyquon Hodges, 16, Corey Brown, 17, and Ian Green, 17, will be charged with the second-degree murder of Mohammed, who had Guyanese roots. Meris Campbell, a spokeswoman for Richard A. Brown, the Queens District Attorney, was quoted as saying that the youths were involved in at least one other armed robbery but she was unable to immediately provide details.
The report said that the three were arrested last Thursday after the police stopped a vehicle they were riding in. Investigators initially concentrated on the possible involvement of the suspects in a separate armed robbery in Queens, but soon came to believe that the youths had been involved in Mohammed’s death, too, the police said. Two pistols were found in the vehicle and one of them matched a shell casing recovered at the scene of Mohammed’s killing.
Further, the report stated that the police had surveillance footage taken at the scene. One video clip released by the police shows two people, believed to be the victims, followed by three figures in hooded sweat shirts. The footage does not show the robbery or shooting, although the three people can be seen running back in the other direction some time later.
A fourth person, also arrested Thursday, was believed to be the getaway driver. He was not likely to be charged in Mohammed’s death because of his cooperation in the investigation and because of his smaller role in the crime, an official told the newspaper. The official also said that suspect was granted anonymity because the investigation was continuing.
Meanwhile, the home the Mohammeds shared was empty on Sunday. Shazam Khan has been staying with his parents since his wife’s death. “They were a perfect couple in every way,” his mother, Bibi Mohammed, told the newspaper. “They valued the same things, they spoke the same words, they were in line with each other.”
The Times said the newlyweds were often spotted hand-in-hand, strolling in their Queens neighbourhood. After marrying last year, the young couple had moved into a house on 214th Street in Queens Village, not far from where Khan’s parents lived.
Mohammed died on March 13, after she and her husband were held at gunpoint by three youths as they walked back from his parents’ home. The couple was ordered to lie on the ground, the police said. “At some point,” according to a police official, “she decided she did not want to give up her pocketbook,” which detectives believe contained an iPod and about $20 in cash.
Last week The Post had reported Khan saying “Nothing in the bag was so valuable— she had a phone, an iPod and maybe $20. She was very sentimental. She really cherished our text messages. She has four cell phones that are full. When she doesn’t have any memory left, she gets a new phone.”
The husband said the killers came out of nowhere and he was grabbed by one of the attackers, while another took possession of his wife and the third grabbed her purse.
Khan said he broke free of his attacker and jumped toward his wife to help her when he saw “two flashes” of gunfire. Mohammed was shot twice in the chest and as she lay dying in her husband’s arms, the muggers fled the scene. “As bad as it was, at least I was with her when her time came,” Khan said. “I would never wish for someone’s wife to die in their arms. It’s a terrible thing,” he said.