An imam was shot and critically wounded Wednesday morning outside a mosque in Newark, New Jersey, the city’s public safety director said.
The shooting occurred around 6:15 a.m. at South Orange Avenue and Camden Street, Newark Public Safety Director Fritz Fragé told NBC New York.
A city spokesperson said the person shot is an imam at the Masjid Muhammad-Newark. The motive for the shooting was not immediately clear.
The imam was taken to University Hospital.
The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said it is gathering information on the shooting.
“We are deeply concerned about this incident and pray for the speedy recovery of the imam. Anyone with information about the shooting should immediately contact local police,” CAIR-N.J. said in a statement.
The shooting comes months after an imam at the Omar Mosque in Paterson, about 15 miles north of Newark, was stabbed while leading prayer. The suspect, Serif Zorba, was arrested on several charges including attempted murder.
Wednesday’s shooting remains under investigation, the Newark Department of Public Safety said.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.