A 34-year-old man has been accused of gunning down a mother as she drove on a New Jersey highway late Thursday, and prosecutors said they are looking into whether he is connected to two other shootings in the Garden State.
Kader Mustafa was charged with murder, attempted murder and weapons crimes in the shooting death of 24-year-old Sciasia Calhoun in Freehold, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.
Prosecutors said Mustafa allegedly shot Calhoun as she drove her car onto Halls Mills Road from the state Route 33 bypass from his car, a white 2005 Chevrolet Impala. She was pronounced dead about an hour after the shooting. Her boyfriend and 1-year-old daughter, both also in the car at the time, were unharmed.
Authorities said before Mustafa's arrest that the shooting appeared to be random.
"We have no information to suggest any nexus to terrorism at this time," assistant Monmouth County prosecutor Lori Linksey said at a news conference Friday afternoon.
Calhoun's family said they were relieved an arrest has been made.
"I can't even explain who this person, where he came from, but I'm glad y'all caught him," said the victim's uncle, Robert Calhoun.
A prosecutor's spokesman also said earlier Friday Mustafa was considered a "serial" random shooter. Authorities said later in the day they're still conducting ballistic tests to determine if Mustafa, who was detained in his vehicle about 8 a.m. Friday could be linked to shootings in Neptune on April 27 and Holmdel on Saturday; no one was hurt in either episode.
Prosecutors added Friday that Mustafa was not involved in the killing of Earl Sanders, a barber who was gunned down while driving in Colts Neck on Sunday.
According to authorities, Mustafa had been discharged from Monmouth Mental Center on Sunday after undergoing treatment for an undisclosed mental issue.
Attorney information for Mustafa wasn't immediately available.
Neighbors on his quiet Freehold block said they never saw any indications that he was violent.
"He was a nice guy," Mike O'Flaherty told News 4. "Seemed like an everyday, normal guy."
Prosecutors are asking anyone with information about Mustafa or the shootings to call the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office at 1-800-533-7443.