- Dr Talat Jehan Khan’s neighbours witnessed fatal attack.
- Khan had moved to her Conroe residence in July.
- Police arrested suspect as he attempted to escape.
A man has been charged with first-degree murder after he was involved in the brutal stabbing of an American-Pakistani paediatrician in Conroe, Texas.
Law enforcement officials suspect that Miles Joseph Fridrich, 24, was responsible for the horrific murder that occurred on Saturday at 12:30pm when 52-year-old Dr Talat Jehan Khan was repeatedly stabbed in the common area of her apartment complex, Alys Apartments.
Fridrich’s bond was set at $500,000.
According to Khan’s family, she had moved to the Alys Apartments on Mansion View Drive in July with her 14-year-old daughter and was working at Texas Children’s Pediatrics Conroe, ABC13 reported.
“Everything in her life revolved around those two things, her kids — her son and daughter — and her kids she looked after as a paediatrician,” Khan’s brother, Wajahat Nyaz, said. Nyaz referred to his sister as a “kind soul.”
While many of Khan’s neighbours witnessed the attack, including several children, one neighbour who attempted to stop the suspect recalled the incident to Eyewitness News.
Matthew Amador, Khan’s neighbour works as a firefighter, said that he grabbed his Katana sword when he realised what was happening and ran after Fridrich, the suspect.
“I said, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ And just kind of spooked him,” he said. “(It) didn’t look like he was there, or was a person, blank face, real dark, you know, evil look in his eyes.
“He had gone and left three times before I even got there, and when I got there, he was checking her pulse to make sure she was alive and then stabbed her three more times,” Amador said.
About 17 people walked out of their homes with guns, according to NBC’s Click2Houston. Amador said the police quickly showed up.
“I started yelling out the description, tall white guy, purple shirt, tall white guy, purple shirt!” he said.
However, Conroe police caught up to the suspect and took him into custody.
Amador said he had never seen Fridrich before the attack, making the suspect’s relationship with Khan, unclear.
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), who said they are investigating the crime, released a statement regarding the Khan’s death.
“Assalamu Alaikum,” the statement read.
“Regarding the doctor stabbed in Conroe yesterday: We at CAIR Texas pass along our sincerest condolences to the children and family Dr Talat Khan leaves behind. Inna Lilah Wa Inna Ilayhi Raji’oon. Allah grant her Jannah Firdaous, Amn.
“While the police have not released a motive for the killing, we want to assure everyone that we are in conversation with law enforcement agencies. We are unsure at this moment if this was a hate crime; however, given the tragic circumstances, we are paying very close attention to the investigation.
“We will continue to monitor the situation while we launch our own investigation and continue established dialogue with law enforcement. For the time being, we encourage the community to be vigilant and to keep the family in your Du’aa during this difficult time. May Allah make it easy for them. Amn.”
Khan had been a regular visitor to the mosque for a few months, according to Mohammad Ayubi, Associate Director of the Al Ansaar Mosque, who described Khan as a “nice person.”
In the meantime, Mahnoor Mangrio, Khan’s niece, stated that her aunt was “strong in her faith.”
Ayubi claimed to have heard about the attack on multiple calls.
“The community’s anxious. They want to know what happened. The police are investigating. We have to trust them, and we don’t know if it was a hate crime or if it was some crazy person doing something,” Ayubi said. “We hope there’s some clarity and things come back to normal. We have 300 to 400 families. They’re grieving.”
Ayubi said the masjid increased security after the attack, including additional patrols from the Conroe Police Department.
Ayubi, while wearing a T-shirt with an American flag, explained, “We have to stand up as Americans. We are all Americans. This is our place of worship. I find myself an American Muslim and proud.”