DALLAS: Police in Dallas has charged an incarcerated
felon with the killing of Waqar Hasan, the former Milltown man and
Pakistani national slain in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks
at the American Trade Center and Pentagon.
The charge against Mark Anthony Stroman, 32, of Stephenville, Texas,
followed an interview Stroman had requested that aired on a Dallas
television station in which he confessed to Hasan's murder, reports The
Stroman claimed he killed Hasan and another man and shot a third out of
revenge for the terrorist attacks. The victims of all three of those
crimes, two of which Stroman was already charged with, were of South Asian
The Pakistani national Hasan was slain in his cash-checking business and
convenience store, Mom's Grocery, on the night of September 15. The gunman
walked into the store in southeast Dallas around 10 p.m., apparently
ordered two hamburgers, and shot the 46-year-old man in the cheek with a
.380-caliber handgun. Nothing was taken from the store. Aside from the
recovered slug, police obtained no other forensic evidence.
There were no surveillance cameras in the store. And no witnesses came
forward. After extensive reporting in Dallas, the Home News Tribune on
Dec. 9 published a story focusing on Stroman as a suspect. Dallas police
investigators at the time acknowledged the similarities between the Mom's
Grocery killing and the two other crimes. But they said they were leaning
away from charging Stroman.
Yesterday, Lt. David Elliston of the Dallas police said investigators were
working on other recent leads pointing to Stroman before his on-air
confession. Elliston declined to elaborate. In that interview with KDFW-TV
in Dallas, Stroman said watching the events of Sept. 11 made him lose
control. "When I saw those people jumping off the World Trade Center, my
heart was going out to them people when they were leaping off the
building. That's why I did what I did. It was like the end of the world to
me," Stroman said, according to a transcript of that interview.
"I did it to retaliate on local Arab Americans or whatever you want to
call them. I did what every American wanted to do but didn't. They didn't
have the nerve. "Hasan's wife, Durreshahwar, who still lives in Milltown
with the couple's four daughters and Hasan's mother, said she has yet to
see the tape of the interview. But relatives in Dallas called Monday night
after it aired.
"Everyone was very upset. Everyone was crying," she said. The confession,
she said, did not give her any relief. "I'm not satisfied that they caught
him," she said. "My husband is gone, he is not coming back. "The charge
against Stroman came on a day when he attended court for the beginning of
jury selection in a capital murder case. Stroman is facing the death
penalty for the murder he was charged with in October.
In that murder, police said Stroman strode into a convenience store at a
gas station in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite shortly before 7 a.m. on Oct.
4. He pulled out a handgun and shot a 49-year-old Indian-born man in the
shoulder. After a futile attempt to open the cash register, and after
issuing a threat to the dying clerk, Stroman left without any money,
When police found Stroman two days later, he took the .44-caliber pistol
used in the killing out of his waistband, laid it at his feet and
surrendered, authorities said. Stroman confessed to investigators, first
saying that robbery led to the killing, according to police and court
records. Days after his arrest, Stroman changed his story.
He claimed to authorities that he committed the killing out of revenge for
the death of his half-sister, who he said was working on the 98th floor of
one of the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11.The other shooting
occurred at a gas station about two miles from Mom's Grocery on Sept. 21,
at around 12:30 p.m. Stroman strode in brandishing a double-barreled
.45-caliber Derringer that held .410-gauge shotgun shells, said Dallas
police detective Steve David.When the clerk, a Bangladeshi-born Dallas
man, saw the gunman, he automatically opened the cash register.
But Stroman pulled the trigger anyway, David said, blinding the clerk in
one eye.Despite the cash lying in the open cash drawer, Stroman left
empty-handed, David said. The gas station attendant is recovering,
authorities said. Stroman's attorney did not return calls yesterday.
The criminal in a span of three weeks of time shot three middle-eastern
appearances persons. Killed two and one was badly injured. "The man have
depth of hatred, angry and is proud for what he is doing" said Greg the
Dallas court prosecutor.
He first confessed to kill Waqar in a Fox TV interview on Tuesday, later
on inquiry by police it was revealed through one of his jail inmate that
he threw the gun he used to kill Pakistani Citizen in a lake in Dallas.
Greg told that Dallas police have cordoned off the area and police divers
will search for the gun by Monday.