A Clarksburg, who is currently in a Virginia jail on hit-and-run felony murder charges, has been linked to two additional incidents in Islamic centers in Germantown and Gaithersburg. This brings the number of violent incidents involving this suspect to three; all three involved a vehicle and two allegedly included throwing a brick through a window.
According to Montgomery County Police Muhammad Taha, 29, of the 23300 block of Observation Drive in Clarksburg has been linked to two additional incidents. Taha is currently detained in Prince William County, Virginia for the and charged with Second Degree Murder in connection with the hit-and-run death of Shamsa Begum on Sunday, March 24, in the Manassas area.
MCPD said two days before the murder in Manassas, on Friday, March 22, officers from the 6th District responded to the Islamic Center of Maryland Mosque located at 19411 Woodfield Road in Gaithersburg, for the report of an injured person. The investigation revealed that the victim was walking on the property when he was struck by a vehicle which then fled the area. The victim was taken to a local hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries. Police said that surveillance footage was able to capture parts of the incident and a description of the vehicle and evidence was recovered on the scene.
Police said that Taha was also involved in another incident prior to the death of Begum in Manassas on Sunday. According to police, Taha was circling the parking lot of the Islamic Society of Germantown at 19825 Blunt Road in Germantown. 5th District officers responded to the area for the report of a suspicious situation. The investigation revealed a vehicle had been seen circling the parking lot before the driver exited the vehicle and used a brick to vandalize a parked vehicle in the lot. The driver then drove away from the scene after striking an additional parked car.
Later that Sunday, March 24, Taha, intentionally ran down 66-year-old Shamsa Begum on Cloverhill Road in Manassas at about 5:00 pm. Begum was taken to a hospital where she died on Monday, March 25.
Manassas Police say that Taha and the victim knew each other. NBC4Washington has reported that the victim was killed in front of her home. According to the NBC4 report, neighbors say a brick was thrown through a first-floor window of Begum’s home and when she came out of the house to see what had happened Taha ran struck Begum with his vehicle and fled the scene.
Manassas City Police said, “The investigation revealed the victim, who was known to the suspect, was standing in the roadway on Cloverhill Road when she was intentionally struck by the suspect.”
A short time later, police identified the vehicle as it was stopped at a 7-Eleven location on Dumfries Road in Manassas, which is about five miles from the scene of the hit-and-run. Taha was arrested by Prince William County Police.
Detectives from the 5th and 6th District Investigative Sections have connected all the events to Taha. He has been charged by Montgomery County Attempted 2nd Degree Murder, 1st Degree Assault, and two counts of Malicious Destruction of Property.
While all of these events have been connected to Taha, detectives believe they are isolated events. Taha remains in the Prince William County Adult Detention Center where he is facing multiple charges including; Second-Degree Murder, driving under the influence, driving with an open alcoholic beverage container, and leaving the scene of an accident. He has been held without bond and is scheduled for a court appearance on May 20.
According to reports, Taha is an employee of Montgomery County Public Schools, he works as a bus attendant and is on unpaid administrative leave.
Photo courtesy MCPD.