An imam who was shot outside his mosque in Newark early Wednesday is in critical condition, city officials said.
Officers responded to a call about a shooting at 6:15 a.m. at South Orange Avenue and Camden Street near the Muhammad-Newark Mosque.
A city spokesman confirmed the shooting victim was an imam Muhammad Mosque-Newark. NBC New York reported that the victim was a man who answered the door of the mosque on Wednesday morning Imam Hasan Sharif.
The city's director of public safety said the victim was taken to University Hospital in critical condition. The university hospital is located within the area where the shooting took place.
A motive for the shooting was not immediately known.
The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said it was also working to get more information about the shooting.
“We are deeply concerned about this incident and pray for the speedy recovery of Imam. “Anyone with information about the shooting should contact local police immediately,” Dina Syedahmad, CAIR-NJ's communications manager, said in a written statement.
The FBI's Newark office told NBC New York that they are not currently involved in the investigation.
New Jersey Gov. Bill Murphy said details were scarce.
“I was told when I walked in here thank God he's alive, and I don't have any details beyond that,” Murphy said after the event on the state's minimum wage. Murphy said his office and state police are “deeply involved” in the shooting investigation.
This is a growing story. Check back for updates.