NEW YORK — The daylight killing of a mosque leader and his associate set off fear and anguish Sunday among Bangladeshi Muslims in a New York City neighborhood, with some saying the killings appear to be an anti-Muslim hate crime. But police said there is no evidence so far to support that.

Police hunted for the gunman who killed Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and Thara Uddin, 64, near the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque in Queens as they left afternoon prayers Saturday in their traditional religious attire. Both men were shot in the head.

“This was a hate crime. One hundred percent, there’s no doubt about it,” said Monir Chowdhury, who worshipped daily with the two men.

Chowdhury said he had moved to the community because of its large Bangladeshi immigrant population, but in recent months has been harassed by people shouting anti-Muslim epithets.

In one incident, a man called him “Osama” as he walked to the mosque with his 3-year-old son. With the killer still on the loose, Chowdhury decided it would be best to drive to prayer services.

“A lot of neighbors said, ‘Hey, don’t take your kid with you,'” he said. “People, they just hate us.”

Police released a sketch early Sunday of a dark-haired, bearded man wearing glasses. Police said witnesses described the gunman as a man with a medium complexion. A person who lives near the shooting scene showed media organizations a video that showed a man walking up behind the imam and his associate, shooting the men in the head and then walking off.

Investigators said they have not established a motive in the attack. On Saturday, Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner said there was “nothing in the preliminary investigation to indicate that they were targeted because of their faith.”