Police said a gunman walked up to religious leader, Maulama Akonjee, 55, on Saturday afternoon as he and his assistant, Thara Uddin, 64, were leaving the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque in Ozone Park.
Both men were rushed to Jamaica hospital, where Akonjee, a married father-of-three, was pronounced dead. His assistant died about fours later.
Imam Akonjee was described as a revered religious leader. He came to Queens from Bangladesh a little less than two years ago, according to the New York Daily News.
Earlier on Saturday, shortly after the shooting, a crowd of angry Muslim men gathered at the scene insisting it was a hate crime, saying the two men were specifically targeted.
That's not what America is about,' local resident Khairul Islam told the newspaper.
'We blame Donald Trump for this ... Trump and his drama has created Islamophobia.'