Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Sunday, June 18, 2017


Killing of Nabra Hassanen

A photo of Nabra Hassanen who was murdered on June 18, 2017.

Sterling, Virginia, United States
June 18, 2017
3 a.m. – 4 a.m. (UTC−04:00)
Attack type
Nabra Hassanen
Suspected perpetrator
Darwin Martinez Torres

On June 18, 2017, Nabra Hassanen, a 17-year-old American Muslim girl, was assaulted and killed in an act of road rage. The preliminary hearing for Hassanen's suspected murderer, an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, is scheduled on October 13, 2017.


Nabra Hassanen was a sophomore at South Lakes High School in Reston, Virginia, where she would soon be starting her junior year in Fall 2017. On June 18, 2017 it was the holy month of Ramadan, and Hassanen was with 15 teenage friends near the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center Mosque. As soon as they got some food from a McDonald's nearby, Hassanen and her friends made their way back to the mosque between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m and came into "a dispute with a man driving a red car", and the man was later identified as Darwin Martinez Torres. Hassanen's group of friends scattered as the man drove onto a curb. He then followed them to a parking lot, got out of the car and chased them. When the man managed to reach Hassanen, he hit her with a baseball bat and put her in the car. As Hassanen's friends ran back to the mosque quickly, the man "drove off with her in his car", took her to a nearby location, and assaulted her again (details of the second assault were not revealed). After Hassanen died of "blunt force trauma to her upper body", the man dumped her in a pond near her home.


At 4 a.m. of the same day, Fairfax County police started searching for the girl, whose body was found floating in a pond around 3 p.m. The police then noticed a suspicious car in the vicinity and arrested the driver, Darwin Martinez Torres who was later charged with second-degree murder.

The day after the killing, the police stated on Twitter that "they are not investigating the attack as a hate crime". The County police spokeswoman said during a news conference that "it appears that the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence". Since the police believed the killing did not seem to be related by either race or religion, it was considered a road rage incident, rather than a hate crime-motivated offence. Fairfax County police chief Edwin Roessler Jr also told the media that they had "absolutely no evidence" showing the killing of Hassanen was caused by hate crime.

At the same time, the police are still investigating whether Hassanen was sexually assaulted by her abductor before she was killed.

Reports released on June 27 showed Torres had punched, choked, and sexually assaulted another woman a week prior to Hassanen's death.

The photo was found on the official blog of Fairfax County Police illustrating the man named Darwin Martinez Torres who was arrested for murdering a 17-year-old girl in Virginia, U.S.


Darwin Martinez Torres, aged 22, is an undocumented immigrant to the United States from El Salvador who worked in construction. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had no previous encounters with Torres prior to Hassanen's killing.


The ADAMS Center Mosque told the public in a statement that the community was devastated by the killing, saying "it is a time for us to come together to pray and care for our youth." On the Internet, some people expressed their outrage by criticizing the decision by police not to look into the killing as a hate crime. Isabella Burton of Vox wrote: "Hassanen has become another example of an innocent victim of Islamophobia."

Around 5,000 mourners attended Hassanen's funeral on June 21 and caused traffic jam. While the majority of the attendees were Muslims, Christians and Jews were also seen. Hassanen's father, Mohmoud Hassanen Aboras, believed his daughter was killed because of her identity as a Muslim – when Hassanen was abducted, she was dressed in a Muslim robe known as abaya. Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman of the Council on American–Islamic Relations, said "there is a strong possibility the crime wouldn't have happened if the teenagers weren’t Muslim". A lawyer with CAIR said "Muslim Americans are particularly fearful now."


On June 20, when citizens of Washington D.C. gathered at the city's park Dupont Circle commemorating Hassanen's death, a 24-year-old man attempted to set fire to a fountain where the memorial took place and was arrested for vandalism. A sergeant later said there was no permanent damage found on the fountain and the police were not sure why the man was around.

Nabra Hassanen's Accused Killer Could Get Death Penalty: Report

Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, is accused of beating 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen to death last Sunday.

By - Updated June 23, 2017 5:23 pm ET 

Darwin Martinez Torres (left) is suspected of murdering Nabra Hassanen (right).
RESTON, VA — If an autopsy report currently underway on the body of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen shows that she was sexually assaulted before her murder on Sunday, her accused killer could get the death penalty, according to a report.

The murder of Hassanen, a Muslim girl who was walking near her mosque with friends when she got into an argument with a man in the car, touched off nationwide fury over what appeared to be a hate crime. However, Fairfax County Police said that 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres killed her in a fit of road rage — not out of anti-Muslim hate — that developed as he confronted teens that were walking and biking in the road.

WUSA9 reports that if an autopsy shows that Hassanen was sexually assaulted, prosecutors could opt to add capital murder to the charges, which could include a death sentence if convicted.

Police believe Martinez Torres chased Hassanen's friends in his car and then assaulted Hassanen. He then allegedly pulled her into his car, took her away from the scene and assaulted her again before dumping her body in a pond in nearby Sterling.

But it's the possibility of a sexual assault before her fatal wounds that could change everything about the case.

"We have to await forensic examination results and the report from autopsy from the medical examiner to confirm whether or not that took place," Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler said, according to WUSA9.

Martinez Torres has a court date set for July 19.

Vigils were held across the country to honor Hassanen's life, including one at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston that drew thousands of people.

Image via Fairfax County Police Department

Darwin Martinez Torres is locked up for the violent attack on the girl whose death raised fears of a hate crime. ICE said he entered the U.S. illegally.

Before Allegedly Killing Muslim, Illegal Immigrant Was Accused Of Sexual Assault In Front Of A Child

Muslim Teenager Beaten To Death By Foreign National, Darwin Martinez Torres, And Dumped In Pond

He 'beat her to death with a metal baseball bat after he kidnapped her as she left a mosque'

Man sets fire to memorial for Muslim girl, 17, who was 'beaten to death by a 22-year-old illegal immigrant with a baseball bat in road rage attack

Sex assault could elevate Nabra Hassanen case to death penalty

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