Man charged with double murder of Queens imam and assistant

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The man suspected in the fatal shooting of a Queens imam and his assistant was arrested and charged with murder, police said Monday night.

Oscar Morel, 35, of East New York was charged with both men's murders and criminal possession of a weapon, the NYPD said.

The charges come after police found a revolver they believed to be the murder weapon in the suspect's home, sources said earlier Monday.

Law enforcement officials also recovered clothes that matched those worn by the suspected shooter in a video not officially released by the NYPD, sources said.

Police said that the suspect walked up behind imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and his assistant Thara Uddin, 64, on Saturday as they left Ozone Park's Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque at 76-20 Glenmore Ave. and executed them at point-blank range.

"Two people who helped make their neighborhood a better place were killed in cold blood," said Mayor Bill de Blasio during a Monday evening press conference at police headquarters.

After shooting the two men near Liberty Avenue and 79th Street Saturday about 1:50 p.m., the suspect got into a road-rage feud with a cyclist, police officials said. Morel is believed to have clipped the cyclist with his SUV and threatened him with his gun before driving away, officials said.

Sources said a motive for the homicides, which were being investigated as a possible hate crime, was still unclear.