Houston police are unsure if the shooting death of Iranian activist Gelareh Bagherzadeh was politically motivated or simply a botched robbery, Homicide Captain David Gott said Thursday.
The 30-year-old Houston-based student activist was found dead in her car at about 12:30 a.m. Monday morning.
Gott said it appeared that Bagherzadeh, who was inside her apartment complex and driving towards her apartment, was shot up to four times by an unknown gunman.
Bagherzadeh was an outspoken advocate for women's rights in Iran. She was also a student at M.D. Anderson, where she studied molecular genetics technology.
While Gott confirmed that robbery has not been ruled out as another possible motive, nothing was missing from Bagherzadeh's vehicle.
Detectives have turned up very little physical evidence in the investigation so far, he said.
"There is very little to update," Gott said. "We are continuing to look into her background."
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Gott said detectives are interviewing people in the neighborhoods surrounding Bagherzadeh's home, located on the west side of town near Augusta.
Previous reports stated that she was speaking to her ex-boyfriend on the phone at the time of her death; however neither he nor Bagherzadeh's current boyfriend are persons of interest at this time.
Crime Stoppers has announced a reward of up to $5,000 for information that would lead to an arrest or the filing of felony charges.
Anyone with any information about the case is urged to call Crime Stoppers of Houston at (713) 222-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be sent via text: Text TIP610 plus the information to CRIMES (274637). All tipsters remain anonymous.