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Two men, including a popular imam, were shot dead when they were coming from a mosque on Saturday afternoon in New York.

Maulama Akonjee, 55, the imam at Al-Furqan Jame Masjid, and other victim, Tharam Uddin, 64, were approached from behind and shot in the head about two blocks from the Queens mosque, the NYPD said on Saturday. Police said that immediately after the victims were shot, the suspect fled from the scene, and witnesses told police he had a gun in his hand.

Police said there were no words exchanged between the victims, just gunfire. It's unclear if the victims were targeted for their faith.

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According to reports, the NYPD had recovered surveillance video from the shooting on Sunday.

"I’m not sure what kind of an animal would kill that man," Akonjee's nephew told the New York Daily News. "He would not hurt a fly. You would watch him come down the street and watch the peace he brings."