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Man accused of shooting in Roxbury held for mental evaluation

The weapons Boston police say were taken from the home of suspect Ismail Abdurrashid. Boston Police

A Roxbury man who shot a member of his mosque and was found in possession of 10 firearms was ordered held Tuesday at a state hospital for mental evaluation.

Police said that Ismail Abdurrashid, 50, went to the Mosque for the Praising of Allah in Roxbury early Monday morning and shot a man twice. The man, who is in his mid-50s, is expected to survive.

The man told police Abdurrashid targeted him because he didn’t like how the mosque was being run, according to a police report. Abdurrashid was also angry because he believed the man was a sex offender, police said.


At his arraignment in Roxbury District Court, Abdurrashid pleaded not guilty to two dozen charges, including assault to murder. A court clinician told the court that Abdurrashid had been released from Massachusetts General Hospital’s psychiatric service three days ago.

His family and friends had seen a severe change in Abdurrashid’s behavior in the past month and said he needed help, she said.

“There has been a significant change to his mental status over the last month and it has been dramatic,” said Sandra Ehlinger, the court clinician. “Virtually anyone who knows him has reported that it is very much out of character and very much is in need of some sort of psychiatric care.”

Speaking on his own behalf, Abdurrashid said he was “more than competent to answer to these allegations.”

“I am not crazy,” he said. “I am sane and I will answer to any and all charges in the court of law.”

Police said that Abdurrashid arrived at the mosque around 6 a.m. and knocked on a door. When the victim opened it, Abdurrashid began shouting and a fight broke out. At some point during the struggle, Abdurrashid drew a gun and fired twice, striking the man in the leg and shoulder, police said. The man then chased Abdurrashid out of the building, a witness told police.


An imam at the mosque helped the two men identify Abdurrashid, police said. Another mosque member told police he spoke with Abdurrashid that morning near the mosque and Abdurrashid said he was going to shoot the victim.

Later on Monday, officers found Abdurrashid on Townsend Street near his home and arrested him. In a search of his home, they seized 10 firearms, including a sawed-off shotgun and eight handguns.

Abdurrashid is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 15.

Jerome Campbell can be reached at jerome.campbell@globe.com or @jeromercampbell