QUEENS CRIMINAL COURT — The Manhattan college porter accused of gunning down an Ozone Park imam and his assistant is a "cold-blooded" assassin, prosecutors said during his arraignment Tuesday.
"This is one of the most horrendous and despicable acts," Queens Assistant District Attorney Peter McCormack told Judge Karen Gopee.
Oscar Morel, 35, who worked at the New School, was arraigned on a first-degree murder charge, two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
He's accused of fatally shooting Imam Maulana Akonjee and his friend Thara Uddin as they walked home on Liberty Avenue and 79th Street following afternoon prayer on Aug. 13, the NYPD said.
He was arrested Monday after he was identified by a cyclist who said he struck him with his Chevy Trailblazer shortly after the fatal shooting.
"He stated at that time a bicyclist came at him," ADA Crystal Igneri told the court.
Police were able to trace Morel's Chevy from the cycling accident back to the scene of the crime — a 12 minute span, prosecutors said.
A witness also identified him in a police line, according to the Queens DA.
Investigators tracked his SUV to his home then staked him out for more than a day until he left, officials said.
When officers approached him, he rammed his vehicle into an unmarked NYPD car in a bid to escape but was arrested at the scene, police said.
Morel's lawyer, Leonard Ressler, said his client told him "I didn't do anything. Get me bail."
Prosecutors did not hint at what Morel's motive was for killing the two men or how he knew them.
Outside court Tuesday, the victim's families urged the DA to bring hate crime charges against Morel.
"I just want to know why he killed him," Akonjee's son, Saif Akonjee, said. "My father was a very good guy."
“This is a terrible crime he did,” Uddin's brother, Mashuk Uddin, added.
“We need to get justice. I believe it’s a hate crime. Why did he kill two people at one time?”