LUBBOCK, Texas — The Islamic Center of the South Plains says they are taking additional security measures and urging their community to stay vigilant as a fourth Muslim man was fatally shot in Albuquerque this week.

“The Muslim community here in Lubbock is shocked to hear about this horrific attack in Albuquerque,” Imam Samer Altabaa said. “Muslims could not believe there was a coward who would go and hunt people down just for their faith.”

Altabaa said members of his community know worshippers from Albuquerque, some of whom visit the ICSP to pray while they travel.

“They are very nice, peaceful, most of them are highly-educated professionals. Some of them are doctors who save peoples’ lives every day,” he said.

Altabaa also said some Muslims in Lubbock now feel unsafe leaving their homes. A manhunt is still underway for the suspect.

This string of targeted murders is unprecedented in our region, but Altabaa describes it as a painful escalation of racism they have heard from politicians and seen firsthand for decades. In 2015, a Lubbock mosque was vandalized.

“Unfortunately, we have experienced some of this hatred here in Lubbock,” Altabaa said. “Someone attacked the mosque, broke the doors and windows… this is a part of the islamophobia that has been going on for awhile. I blame those who influenced these radicals with hatred.”

The center now reminding their community to be safe, but not scared.

“The American Muslim community is part of this country. This is our country and we love it. We contribute a lot, we live peacefully… different colors, different faiths, this is the beauty of America. So there will be no place for those with hatred in their heart. We won’t let anyone bring fear to us.”