Son of slain New Jersey imam arrested on gun charge

The son of a Newark imam fatally shot outside his mosque has been arrested on a gun violation charge, Essex County prosecutors said.

Abdush K. Sharif, 36, was arrested at a home in Newark on Jan. 26 and charged with violating firearms regulations.

He is being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility pending his detention hearing, according to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. Two other people who were with Sharif at the Newark residence — Kevin Rogers, 46, and Dashawn Kitchen, 49 — were also arrested on gun charges.

“The investigation into the homicide of Imam Hassan Sharif is active and ongoing,” the office said in a statement.

NBC News has previously reported that detectives were investigating whether a family member was responsible for the killing. Law enforcement sources have said police are probing whether the son was involved in the crime.

A spokesperson for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said he had no comment beyond the statement. Attempts to reach an attorney for Sharif were not immediately successful.

The killing of Hassan Sharif, a community leader who was known for feeding the needy and fighting gun violence, stunned the city and those who knew him well. A married father and avid boxer, Sharif had also worked as a TSA officer at Newark Liberty International Airport since 2006.

He was shot multiple times outside the Masjid Muhammad mosque just after 6 a.m. on Jan. 3. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital about six hours later.

A person was captured on surveillance video riding away from the scene, and investigators were working to determine whether that person was the killer, one law enforcement source previously told NBC News.

Essex County Crime Stoppers is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the killing. The Council on American-Islamic Relations and its New Jersey chapter are also offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.

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