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Officials: Man Charged In Connection To Death Of Muslim Officer's Aunt

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A man has been charged in connection to the stabbing death of a Queens woman, officials say.

Nazma Khanam, 60, was stabbed to death as she was walking home in a largely Bangladeshi section of Jamaica, Queens on Wednesday night.

She was on Normal Road at 160th Street, two blocks from her house, when police said she was suddenly attacked by someone who stabbed her in the torso.

Sources said the attacker may have been trying to rob her, but she put up a struggle and the suspect fled without taking anything, CBS2's Janelle Burrell reported.

What appeared to be a kitchen knife was left lodged in Khanam's chest. She was pronounced dead an hour after being taken to the hospital – leaving her family numb. 

Yonatan Galvez-Marin, 22, was arrested Saturday and charged in connection to the incident on Sunday, CBS2 reported. He faces charges of second-degree murder, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon, authorities say.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown says Galvez-Marin faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted in the death of Nazma Khanam. No attorney information for him was immediately available on Sunday.

Her nephew is Transit Officer Humayun Kabir, who was outside Queens Criminal Court Sunday, praising police for the arrest, as reported by CBS2's Dave Carlin. He's still struggling with the question: "Why her?"

"She's a mother, she's a wife. She's a teacher who taught over 40 years and she doesn't deserve to be killed like that. My uncle's family doesn't deserve this.... please pray for my uncle's family."

A motive for the attack is still under investigation, but many members of the Muslim community fear the attack may have been a hate crime.

Khanam and her husband moved to the area from Bangladesh in 2009, but they had just become U.S. citizens in June.

She leaves behind three children and several grandchildren.

Galvez-Marin is expected to be arraigned in Queens on Sunday.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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