Landlord stabbed tenant who owed 10 months rent to death in front of victim son


“Eklel!” a dying Zakir Khan, 44, shouted at his son outside their Bronx home. “Help me! Call 911!”

The boy stared as enraged landlord Taha Mahran grabbed Khan by the jacket, pulled him to the ground and started stabbing him madly with a kitchen knife, sources said.

When Mahran took a few steps toward Eklel, the boy ran back inside Wednesday evening and locked the door before telling his mother to call for help, the sources said.

“His son saw everything,” the boy’s uncle Sabur Khan, 49, confirmed Thursday. “He was at the house and saw what happened.”

The youngster was dropped off moments before the gruesome stabbing after he was picked up from the library by his dad, sources said.

A knife-wielding Mahran challenged Khan inside the house before chasing the victim outside, where the slaying occurred as the boy stood watching, sources said.

Mahran, covered in Khan’s blood, surrendered at the 45th Precinct two blocks from the crime scene on Logan Ave. by Barkley Ave. after the 6:30 p.m. stabbing.

“I just stabbed someone with a knife,” he declared at the stationhouse. “He’s up the block.”

Sources said Mahran also admitted tossing the knife into a street sewer before declaring that he called police and the Bronx district attorney “20 times — and you guys did nothing for me.”

The accused killer stopped minutes earlier to tell a man standing on the corner in Throgs Neck that Khan had “lived in my house for 10 months” without paying rent, sources said Thursday.

Mahran, 51, advised the man to call the police. The murder weapon was recovered from a sewer outside the house on Logan Ave., sources said.

Bangladeshi immigrant Khan died at Jacobi Medical Center. Police charged Mahran with murder, manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon.

Mahran, a NYC Transit station manager, had no previous criminal history. The money problems between landlord and tenant began when Khan bounced his first rent check last year, sources said.

The wife told police that the two men had nearly come to blows in previous disputes over the unpaid debt, according to the sources. The couple lived there with their three kids.

Khan had three prior arrests for criminal contempt last July, aggravated harassment by telephone last May and assault in the Bronx in April 2009.

Mahran went to court in November to get Khan evicted and grew increasingly frustrated as the proceedings dragged on, said sources with knowledge of the case.

At one time, Khan was a real-estate broker, friends said. He had offered to help Mahran rent out his apartment on Logan Ave., but decided instead to move in with his family.

He stopped paying rent when he fell on hard times and was forced to close his real estate office.

Sabur Khan, who lives in Maryland, was visiting New York when he heard about his brother’s murder.

“We had a party last weekend — that's when I last saw him,” the brother said. “He was a good, decent man.”

He was in disbelief that the murder was sparked by a rent dispute. “This must have been about something else,” he said.

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