Nabra Hassanen was just 17 years old when an enraged man attacked her with a baseball bat, kidnapped, and murdered her. The Muslim teen’s death is shaking her community. Learn more about the shocking case here.
1. She was murdered after leaving late-night prayer service at her local mosque
Nabra Hassanen, 17, and her friends had left a midnight prayer service on June 18 at their local mosque, All Dallas Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) in Sterling, Virginia where they were observing Ramadan. A man, suspected to be Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, got into an argument with one of the boys, who was riding a bike, because they were in the road. He drove his car up onto the curb, scattering the group of about 15 kids. He later caught up with them in a parking lot, jumped out of his car and began swinging a baseball bat. Officers say that the man hit Nabra with the bat, and kidnapped her. Her lifeless body was found in a nearby pond around 3:00pm that afternoon.
“One boy [in the group] described it as creepy,” said Asma Ibrahim, a girl from Nabra’s high school who spoke to Buzzfeed News about the incident. Asma was not there that night, but had talked to the other teens who were attacked. “Everyone was running for their lives as the man chased them and they didn’t realize that Nabra wasn’t there with them.” A witness said that Torres seemed “drunk,” but police have only confirmed that they are looking into if intoxication “was a contributing factor.”
2. Darwin Martinez Torres was arrested after her death
Police found Torres near the pond where Nabra’s body was discovered after spotting a car that was driving erratically. He is being held without bail in Fairfax County Jail and faces murder charges. ICE believes that Torres was in the United States illegally, and has issued a request to detain him when he’s released from jail. “ICE lodges detainers on aliens who have been arrested on local criminal charges when the agency has probable cause to believe an alien is removable from the United States,” Carissa Cutrell, a spokeswoman for ICE, said in a statement. ICE hasn’t previously had any contact with the suspect.
3. Her death is not being investigated as a hate crime
Police are officially investigating Nabra’s death as a road rage incident, and not a hate crime. Her family and many friends at her mosque believe that Nabra was targeted for being Muslim; she was wearing her hijab when attacked and killed, and her family is originally from Egypt. “It appears that the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence,” Fairfax County police spokeswoman Julie Parker said at a news conference on Monday. She said there was no indication that Nabra was murdered because of her religion, and that there was no evidence that he used racial slurs during the attack. But many in her community are skeptical that a simple instance of road rage could compel someone to kidnap and murder a teenage girl.
4. Nabra was getting late night breakfast with her friends
Nabra and the other teens from her mosque were grabbing food from McDonald’s after prayer service when they were attacked. A lot of teens from ADAMS get late night breakfast after service, as they’re currently observing Ramadan, and must start fasting at sunrise.
5. She was a beloved member of her community
Friends described Nabra as incredibly funny, someone who was always laughing, smiling, and joking. There was a memorial service at her high school, as well as at her mosque, after news broke of her death. Instagram is filled with emotional tributes to the beautiful girl whose life was taken far too soon.
HollywoodLifers, our thoughts are with Nabra’s loved ones.