A Muslim girl killed near a Virginia mosque was the victim of road rage, police said, and her killing is not being treated as a hate crime, police said.
Nabra Hassanen, 17, whose body was found in a pond, had been walking with a group of teens in Fairfax County after leaving an overnight service for the holy month of Ramadan.
The group was walking to a McDonald’s between 3 and 4 a.m. when Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, drove up to them and began arguing with a boy on a bicycle who was part of the group, police said.
Some of the teenagers were in the road and Martinez chased them into a parking lot and got out of his car carrying a baseball bat, witnesses said, according to authorities.
He struck Hassanen with the bat, then loaded her into his vehicle, said Fairfax County police spokeswoman Julie Parker at a Monday press conference, Reuters reported.
"It appears that the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence," she said.
Because girls in the group were wearing traditional Muslim dress, there was early speculation that the attack may have been a hate crime.
Hassanen dumped the girl’s body in a pond in nearby Loudoun County, Parker said. An autopsy concluded the teen died from blunt force trauma, she said.
Martinez was charged with murder and was jailed without bond, authorities said. He has not entered a plea.