The father of Muslim teen Nabra Hassanen spoke out Monday about the death of his daughter. Police said the circumstances surrounding Hassanen’s death were not being investigated as a hate crime, but instead, as an incident of road rage. Hassanen’s father, however, said he believed his daughter’s religion played a role.

“He killed her because she’s a Muslim,” Mohmoud Hassanen said Monday. “This is what I tell the detective.”

Read: Why Was Nabra Hassanen Killed? ‘Road Rage’ May Have Caused Muslim Teen’s Death

Police arrested 22-year-old Darwin Martinez-Torres for allegedly killing Hassanen after confronting her and a group of friends on their way back to a mosque early Sunday morning. The friends had been eating a final meal before fasting for Ramadan when Martinez-Torres approached them in his car and began fighting with them. As the altercation ensued, the group of friends split up, at which point Martinez-Torres allegedly abducted Hassanen and killed her.

“Why was he running behind the kids wearing Islamic clothes with a baseball stick?” her father said. “Why, when my daughter fell down, why did he hit her? For what? We don’t know this guy. He doesn’t know us. We don’t hate anybody because of religion or color. I teach my kids to love everybody.”

Mohmoud Hassanen recalled the times he shared with his firstborn daughter.

“She used to be like my friend, not my daughter,” he said. “I lose my daughter. My daughter, she’s gone. She’s not coming back. I don’t want this happening to the other families. I don’t want any family to feel like what I feel now. It’s too hard. I raised my daughter for 17 years. Somebody took her life for no reason.”

“I want to stop the hating,” he said. “Hating for any reason.”

Prominent Muslim activist Rabia Chaudry tweeted her agreement with Hassanen’s family about the situation.

“Road rage,” she wrote Monday. “Indeed. If you think for a minute that her appearance had nothing to do with this crime, you’re lying to yourself.”

Hassanen’s mother, Sawsan Gazzar, also said she had trouble believing that her daughter was involved in an altercation on the street as the police said.

“Nabra’s personality, she gets scared very easily,” she said. “Nabra doesn’t even fight with her sisters. She’s very scared.”

Police, however, said the evidence they collected pointed not to a hate crime, but to a road rage incident.

Read: Who Is Darwin Martinez-Torres? Suspect Arrested In Muslim Teen’s Murder

“Nothing indicates that this was motivated by race or religion,” Fairfax County police spokeswoman Julie Parker said during a news conference Monday. “It appears the suspect became so enraged over this traffic encounter that it escalated into violence. His anger over that earlier encounter then led to violence when he hit Nabra with a baseball bat.”

Martinez-Torres was arrested after police found him driving suspiciously at the scene where the confrontation took place. They declined to say what the circumstances were or what evidence they found, but he was arraigned Monday and expected to appear in court July 19.