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Naveed Afzal HAQ





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Hate crime - Seattle Jewish Federation shooting
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: July 28, 2006
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: September 23, 1975
Victim profile: Pamela Waechter, 58
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Status: Sentenced to life without parole plus 120 years on December 15, 2009

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charges filed


Naveed Afzal Haq (born September 23, 1975) is an American man of Pakistani descent who committed the July 2006 Seattle Jewish Federation shooting.


The son of a prominent Muslim-American leader in the Tri-Cities area. Haq's father, Mian Haq, works at the Hanford nuclear facility and helped found the local Islamic Center.

Naveed Haq graduated from Richland High School in 1994, where one of his classmates described him as a "pretty calm, collected, happy guy." Another classmate told The Seattle Times that Haq "was never up front about his faith or religion."

Haq is reported to have attended dentistry school at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for four years before dropping out. He then completed a degree in electrical engineering at Washington State University (WSU), but was allegedly incapable of holding down a job.

By all accounts, Haq had few close friends. A Seattle Times article quoted "the only friend Haq listed on the social-networking site,", a man from a Hindu background, as saying, "I'm beginning to think I was his only friend in the Tri-Cities. I don't recall him hanging out with anybody else."

Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger described Wick Renner, Haq's former WSU classmate and "best friend", more recently his housemate in Everett, Washington, as having been "frustrated with [Haq's] aimlessness." Prior to the shooting spree, according to Renner, Haq had spent "an idle summer in a studio apartment flirting with women on the internet."

Haq was married briefly, in an arranged marriage in 2001 in Pakistan, but the marriage was apparently unconsummated, and he returned to America without his bride.

Minor brushes with the law

Haq had a series of minor brushes with the law, especially traffic violations, but no serious criminal record. In March 2006, he was arrested for public exposure at the Columbia Center Mall in Kennewick, Washington, after allegedly standing on a fountain near a Macy's store, and harassing women at the nearby store's makeup counter. At one point, he exposed his penis to young women passing by the fountain.

One of Haq's friends told The Seattle Times that the suspect was taking medication for bipolar disorder and that he was unhappy with his life and sometimes made anti-Semitic remarks offhandedly. According to another Times article, for years Haq's parents "had witnessed Haq's struggle with mental illness."

Christian beliefs

Although Haq grew up as a Muslim, he underwent Christian baptism in December 2005, and attended a Bible study group for several months. The Bible study group leader, Albert Montelongo, said that Haq had been suffering from bipolar disorder which had attributed to the conflict with his family over his religious conversion.

Montelongo added that he thought that Haq was succeeding in dealing with "his own anger" the last time he saw him, and that Haq had told them that he was moving to Seattle in search of employment. He had recently won an essay contest for a United States Institute of Peace scholarship.

Jewish Federation building shooting

On July 28, 2006, Haq is alleged to have gained access to the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle building by holding a 13-year-old girl hostage with a gun to her back and ordering her to dial the intercom and request to be buzzed into the building.

After entering, he allegedly began shooting. Pamela Waechter was killed. Layla Bush was critically wounded. Dayna Klein, Cheryl Stumbo, Carol Goldman, and Christina Rexroad were wounded.

At the time of the shooting, it was reported by witnesses that Haq announced, "I am a Muslim American, angry at Israel." During the incident, Haq also talked to 911 operators, saying, "These are Jews and I'm tired of getting pushed around and our people getting pushed around by the situation in the Middle East."

Haq was held on $50 million bail pending full charges the following afternoon (July 29, 2006). Haq was charged with nine felonies, including aggravated first-degree murder, five counts of attempted murder, kidnapping, burglary and malicious harassment, a hate-crime law. Haq is accused of breaking into federation offices and then engaging in a shooting spree, at which time he allegedly made anti-Semitic statements.

Haq's court-appointed attorney has confirmed that his client suffered from bipolar disorder, but it is unclear whether he will attempt an insanity defense. King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that many mentally-ill individuals "can fully be held accountable in the criminal justice system."

On August 10, 2006, Haq requested to enter a plea of guilty to all charges against him, surprising his lawyer as well as the community at large. The judge in the case has delayed entering a plea until a competency hearing can be completed.

Two days after the shootings, Haq's parents released a statement "expressing their shock and sorrow over the shootings. 'We could not have imagined for a moment that our son would do this senseless act. This is utterly contrary to our beliefs and Islamic values.'"

On December 20, 2006, it was announced that Haq would not face the death penalty if convicted but rather would spend life in prison without parole.

His trial began in the King County Courthouse (Seattle) on April 14, 2008 and was expected to last a minimum of 6-8 weeks. It is being covered on Court TV. On June 4, 2008, the jury found him not guilty on one count of attempted murder (for victim Carol Goldman); on the remaining counts, the jury declared itself to be hung. The judge declared a mistrial.

His second trial commenced in late 2009, and he was found guilty on all counts, including aggravated first-degree murder, on December 15, 2009. He was sentenced to life without parole plus 120 years.


The Seattle Jewish Federation shooting occurred on July 28, 2006, at around 4:00 p.m. Pacific time, when Naveed Afzal Haq shot six women, one fatally, at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle building in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, USA.

Police have classified the shooting as a "hate crime" based on what Haq is alleged to have said during a 9-1-1 call. King County Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng described the shooting as "one of the most serious crimes that has ever occurred in this city".


Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske alleged that the suspect, Naveed Afzal Haq, had selected his target by researching "something Jewish" on the Internet.

Haq is said to have legally purchased two semi-automatic handguns in Seattle-area stores, receiving the weapons on July 27, 2006, after the mandatory waiting period had expired. Haq allegedly received a traffic ticket on the way to the shooting, but did nothing to arouse the officer's suspicions.

Shortly before 4 p.m., Haq is reported to have forced his way through the Jewish Federation building's security door armed with two large-caliber semi-automatic pistols, a knife, and extra ammunition.

Police believe Haq entered the lobby of the building and grabbed the 14-year-old niece of Federation employee Cheryl Stumbo, whom Haq later shot. Haq allegedly held a gun to the girl's back and forced her to use the intercom in order to gain entry to the Federation's offices.

With a gun to her back, Haq reportedly told the girl, "Open the door," and "careful", as she was buzzed into the building. Haq then said, "I'm only doing this for a statement," and proceeded to follow the girl up the stairs to the second floor. Haq stopped to ask receptionist Layla Bush about speaking with a manager, at which point the girl walked to a bathroom and locked herself inside.

At this point, Cheryl Stumbo asked fellow employee Carol Goldman to call 911. Her niece, in the bathroom, heard her and dialed 911. But, before Goldman could complete a call, Haq shot her in the knee.

Witnesses reported that Haq began shouting "I'm a Muslim American; I'm angry at Israel" before he began his shooting spree. Haq is reported to have walked down the hallway, shooting into offices as he passed by. Haq then shot three more women in the abdomen: Layla Bush, Stumbo, and Christina Rexroad.

Pamela Waechter received a gunshot in the chest. As the wounded Waechter attempted to flee down a flight of stairs, Haq allegedly reached over the railing and shot her for the second time in the head, killing her.

Dayna Klein, a Federation employee who was five months pregnant, heard the shots being fired and as she went to the door of her office, Haq fired at her abdomen, but the bullet missed, hitting her raised arm.

According to Klein, Haq then moved to another section of the building and Klein, bleeding profusely, crawled to her desk and dialed 911, despite Haq's threats to kill anyone who called the police.

Haq eventually returned to Klein's office and discovered her on the phone, at which point he reportedly shouted "Now since you don't know how to ... listen, now you're the hostage, and I don't give a (expletive) if I kill you or your baby."

Klein told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that Haq "...stated that he was a Muslim, (and) this was his personal statement against Jews and the Bush administration for giving money to Jews, and for us Jews for giving money to Israel, about Hezbollah, the war in Iraq, and he wanted to talk to CNN." Klein then offered Haq the phone and suggested that he tell the dispatcher what he had just told her.

Still pointing his gun at Klein, Haq took the phone and informed the police that he had taken hostages. He repeated his previous explanation that he was upset about the war in Iraq and U.S. support of Israel. He also said, "[t]hese are Jews. I’m tired of getting pushed around, and our people getting pushed around by the situation in the Middle East." He also demanded that the US military get out of Iraq.

He asked if he could be patched through to CNN. The dispatcher told Haq that wasn't possible, and informed him that talking with the media wouldn't alter U.S. policy. Haq calmed down and told the dispatcher that he would surrender. He then put his guns down and walked silently out of the building with his hands on his head.

He surrendered at 4:15 and was taken into custody by police. At 10:38 PM he was booked into King County Jail on one count of investigation of homicide and five counts of investigation of attempted murder.

After the shooting, a SWAT team entered the building, looking for other victims or suspects, while police closed off several of the city's main streets. An FBI spokesman later said the shooting was most likely the work of a "lone individual acting out antagonism toward the organization," but added that "there's nothing to indicate that it's terrorism-related."

Legal Proceedings

On July 29, the day after the shooting, Haq appeared in court for his bail hearing. King County, Washington District Court Judge Barbara Linde found that the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office had probable cause to charge Haq with one count of murder and five counts of attempted murder.

Before the proceedings began, Haq requested that the judge allow him to not attend the hearing. Linde denied both this request and another motion to bar cameras and video taping from the courtroom. She also set Haq's bail at $50 million.

On August 2, Haq was formally charged with nine felonies: aggravated murder, five counts of attempted murder, kidnapping, burglary and malicious harassment. Malicious harassment is a hate crime under Washington State law.

Aggravated murder, the most serious of the nine charges, carries only two possible sentences in Washington: life in prison or the death penalty. The prosecution, however, ultimately decided not to seek the death penalty because of Haq's history of mental illness.

During a hearing on August 10, 2006, Haq surprised the court by indicating that he wished to enter a guilty plea on all charges. The judge refused to accept this plea before a competency hearing had been conducted. Additionally, experts consulted by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer expressed doubts as to whether Haq would be allowed to plead guilty at such an early point in the legal process because the prosecution had not yet decided whether Haq would face the death penalty.

On August 16, C. Wesley Richards, Haq's attorney, told the court that Haq had changed his mind and chosen to plead not guilty. Additionally, Richards said that Haq was mentally competent to stand trial since he understood the charges against him and was capable of assisting in his own defense.

One of the most difficult decisions faced by King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng was whether to charge Haq with the death penalty. Two of the victims, Layla Bush and Carol Goldman, publicly opposed charging the shooter with a capital crime, with both saying that death would be "too easy for him."

Additionally, prosecutors in Washington are required to consider "mitigating factors" when deciding whether to seek the death penalty. In Washington State mental illness is considered a mitigating factor and Haq's lawyers provided the prosecution with records from Haq's 10-year history of treatment for mental health problems.

On December 20, 2006, more than four months after initially charging Haq with aggravated murder, Maleng announced that Haq would not face execution, but, if convicted, would be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.


Five of the women were taken to Harborview Medical Center, where three were initially listed in critical condition and two in satisfactory condition, with one of the victims 17 weeks pregnant.

Pam Waechter, the 58-year-old director of the Federation's annual fundraising campaign, was the only fatality in the shooting. She was described as a long-time volunteer for various social service organizations and as the mother of two adult children. Waechter was shot first in the chest and then in the head while she was fleeing.

Christina Rexroad, a 29-year-old bookkeeper for the Federation and resident of Everett, Washington and Cheryl Stumbo, the Federation's 43-year-old non-Jewish director of marketing and communications, were shot in the abdomen and critically wounded.

Layla Bush, a 23-year-old office manager and receptionist, was shot in the shoulder and the abdomen. According to her physician, the bullets damaged Bush's "liver, stomach, pancreas, left kidney and 'bruised' her heart" and would have killed her had one of the bullets struck her a half inch to the right. As of August 28, 2006 Bush, who is not Jewish, but wanted to work for charitable organizations, remains hospitalized with a bullet indefinitely lodged in her spine.

35-year-old Carol Goldman was shot in the knee. The sixth victim was Dayna Klein, a 37-year-old pregnant woman responsible for development and major gifts to the organization. Klein's actions during the shooting have been described as "heroic".

Tammy Kaiser, a 33-year-old adult education director for the Federation was briefly hospitalized for injuries she received after dropping from a second-story window to escape the shooter.

Naveed Afzal Haq

Naveed Haq, an American citizen of Pakistani descent living in Pasco, Washington, was reported to have a misdemeanor lewd conduct charge pending in Benton County after allegedly exposing himself in a public place.

Although Haq identified himself as "a Muslim American" during the shooting, it appears that he "was rarely seen at a local mosque for more than 10 years" before the shooting, and even converted to Christianity at one point.

He was baptized in December 2005 at the evangelical Word of Faith Center in Kennewick, but stopped attending church meetings a few months after his baptism. On the other hand, he is reported to have appeared at his family's mosque just two weeks before the shooting.

Jewish Federation

According to its website, The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, founded in 1926, exists to "ensure Jewish survival and to enhance the quality of Jewish life locally, in Israel and worldwide".

Jewish Federations are social service organizations that raise and distribute money for Jewish causes, particularly in their local communities, but also in Israel, and elsewhere in the world.

The Jewish Federation Building also houses the offices of other local Jewish organizations, such as the Washington State Jewish Historical Society, the Jewish Education Council, and the JTNews, a local Jewish newspaper. The Federation was the organizer of a rally on July 23, 2006 in support of Israel during the 2006 Lebanon war.


The Federation issued a statement, saying: "Our federation colleagues so unmercifully and viciously attacked were spending their day as they normally do, providing for social and humanitarian services that benefited all of metropolitan Seattle. The hatred and violence visited upon them today offends the values that drove their work and passion for improving their neighbors' lives."

Greg Nickels, the mayor of Seattle, said the city will provide outreach assistance to the local Jewish community, and that security patrols will be deployed to protect synagogues and other Jewish buildings.

Robert Spencer, an American writer on Islam, referred to Haq as a "jihadist killer".[30] Political cartoonists Cox and Forkum created an editorial cartoon lampooning the authorities' labelling of Haq's attack as a hate crime rather than terrorism.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a joint statement with the Ithna-Ashari Muslim Association of the Northwest, the Muslim Association of Puget Sound, the Islamic Educational Center of Seattle, American Muslims of Puget Sound, and the Arab American Community Coalition, saying:

"The Muslim community of Greater Seattle area watched in horror as news broke of a shooting at the Jewish Federation building ... We categorically condemn this and any similar acts of violence ... We pray for the safety and health of those injured and offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of the victims of this attack. ... We refuse to see the violence in the Middle East spill over to our cities and neighborhoods. We reject and categorically condemn any attacks against the Jewish community and stand in solidarity with the Jewish Federation in this

Haq's own parents also issued a statement. It read, in its entirety, "We are shocked and devastated with this tragic event. Our hearts and condolences go to the family of the deceased lady. Our deepest sympathies go to those who have been injured and we pray for their speedy recovery. We could not have imagined for a moment that our son would do this senseless act. This is utterly contrary to our beliefs and Islamic values. We have always believed and practiced in fostering love, peace and harmony with everyone, irrespective of religion, race and ethnicity."

Coincidentally, the July 2006 Seattle Jewish Federation shooting occurred on the same day as another major antisemitic incident in America, the Mel Gibson DUI incident, though the deadly attack received far less media coverage than the Gibson DUI incident.


Prosecutor Norm Maleng has been quoted as saying, "Make no mistake, this is a hate crime" and that "there is no evidence the shooting itself was an act of terrorism". This statement has been used to describe Haq's actions as a hate crime rather than terrorism.

Others have taken a different view. Cinnamon Stillwell, the Northern California Representative for conservative organization Campus Watch, wrote:

News of the shooting rampage at Seattle's Jewish Federation building last month involved the usual avoidance of the term "terrorism." Instead, the attack was labeled a hate crime and the perpetrator, Naveed Afzal Haq, just another in a long line of lone gunmen with a history of mental instability. As Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels put it, "This was a purposeful, hateful act, as far as we know by an individual acting on his own."

While this may be true, trying to separate Haq's actions from the larger context of the war on terrorism is tunnel vision at its worst. It is not just hate that motivates such acts, but ideology. One needn't be a bona fide member of an Islamic terrorist group to share their outlook.

Writing in Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger, Josh Feit and Brendan Kiley viewed the matter entirely differently:

While Haq's violence exploded inside a political context—the Jewish Federation, Israel's war in Lebanon—his motivations were those of a frustrated man, who, according to [his friend] Renner, didn't fit in anywhere and felt persecuted and embarrassed by his parents' Pakistani background. Haq is not a jihadi, nor a radical Islamist; his anti-Semitic rhetoric seems more like a veneer of politics on a man disturbed by feelings of inadequacy and rejection.


Retrial promised in Haq case mistrial:

Issue of insanity left jurors hopelessly deadlocked

By Tracy Johnson and Vanessa Ho -

The women who survived bullet wounds inside the Jewish Federation nearly two years ago and the family of one who died must now get ready to endure a second trial after a jury couldn't decide Wednesday whether the shooter was guilty.

After more than seven days of deliberations, jurors remained deadlocked on virtually all of the 15 charges against Naveed Haq, a mentally ill man whose attorneys argued should be found criminally insane.

"We deliberated with tears, and to the best of our ability," said one juror, who declined to go into specifics about the jury's efforts. "I have great compassion for the victims and their families, as well as everyone involved in the case. ... We were all very, very sad at the end."

The six-man, six-woman King County jury could agree only that Haq was not guilty of attempted first-degree murder for wounding Carol Goldman, the first to be shot before she could dial 911, but couldn't decide whether that act was attempted second-degree murder.

The lone verdict suggests jurors agreed that Haq's first shot in the July 2006 Belltown rampage was not a premeditated effort to kill.

But they couldn't unanimously decide whether Haq, 32, was guilty of shooting the five other victims, including an aggravated murder charge that would have locked him away for life in the slaying of federation worker Pamela Waechter, 58.

"Quite frankly, I was angry that a jury could spend that much time hearing the evidence and not spend a little more time coming to a consensus," said Cheryl Stumbo, who was shot in the side on that summer day.

The 45-year-old woman, who attended nearly every minute of the six-week trial, said she still remembers the first time Haq turned toward her in the courtroom.

"The look in his eyes was so vacant, I just couldn't see how anyone would doubt how he did this and was deliberate about it," she said.

Goldman said she was disappointed with the hung jury and didn't "even want to guess what they were thinking" when they acquitted him of the most serious charge involving her.

"What a strange ride it's been these past couple years, having survived the shooting and the emotional roller coaster that comes with it," she said.

Jurors sent out word earlier this week suggesting they were struggling to agree whether Haq was insane at the time of the shooting, and asking for more information about the legal definition.

Under state law, someone is insane if he was either unable to perceive what he was doing or unable to tell right from wrong.

Superior Court Judge Paris Kallas told jurors to continue deliberating. But when they indicated again Wednesday that they were still stuck, she declared a mistrial.

The jury left the courtroom immediately afterward without discussing the case with the attorneys or reporters.

Haq, a heavyset man who appeared lethargic throughout the trial, showed no emotion at the outcome.

"All of these cases are tragedies," said attorney John Carpenter, who defended Haq with lawyer C. Wesley Richards. "We're pleased the jury recognized that, to some degree, schizophrenia placed the gun in Mr. Haq's hand."

Haq's father said his family was relieved to hear that the jury did not find guilt and hoped the tragedy brought some awareness about the debilitating effects of mental illness.

"There is no real closure to this case as we continue to agonize over the death of Pamela Waechter and the suffering of the wounded victims," Mian Haq said in a written statement. "We sincerely hope and pray that time will heal their families. We also pray for our son, Naveed, whom we love very much."

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg vowed to retry Haq as soon as possible -- most likely on the same 15 criminal charges, except that he cannot again face an attempted first-degree murder charge for shooting Goldman.

He called Haq's rampage "one of the most serious crimes ever committed in this city."

"The non-decision of the jury is a disappointment," he said, "but the verdict did not do irreparable harm to our case, nor does it shake our confidence in our approach."

"We're disappointed and profoundly sad that the victims will have to go through this again," said Deputy Prosecutor Don Raz.

Waechter's grown son and daughter still believe in the criminal justice system and supported prosecutors' decision to try Haq again.

"We remember our mother for how she lived, not how she died. She dedicated her days to improving the lives of others," they said in a written statement.

"Our thoughts are with all the friends and colleagues who were victims of that horrible day. We know that testifying and reliving events took extreme courage and was difficult beyond words."

Besides aggravated murder, Haq was charged with multiple counts of attempted murder, kidnapping, burglary, unlawful imprisonment and hate crimes.

Prosecutors said he planned the crime to make a political statement as he ranted about Jews and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

Haq's attorneys argued that he was so delusional he actually thought his actions could change the course of two wars.

The trial began with a teenage girl testifying how Haq forced her to let him into the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle's office building. She described later hunkering in a bathroom stall, listening to gunshots and screams as she dialed 911.

Jurors heard the emotional accounts of the five surviving victims as they talked about being shot and the chaos and terror of that day. Some believed they would die. A pregnant woman described trying to protect her unborn baby.

They also heard from Haq's parents and brother, who all struggled to cope with his erratic behavior, odd ideas and other symptoms of his decade-long history of mental illness.

Aside from having hallucinations and bouts of paranoia, Haq -- a high achiever in high school who went on to earn two college degrees -- was socially awkward, frequently angry and unable to hold even the most menial of jobs.

But much of the trial came down to the testimony of mental health experts, who offered differing opinions on whether Haq was insane when he forced his way into the federation building and opened fire.

A psychiatrist who took the witness stand in Haq's defense told jurors Haq apparently believed he'd been sent on a mission, heard voices, felt unable to control his trigger finger and believed God approved his actions.

A psychologist for prosecutors, however, detailed the ways that Haq appeared to have premeditated the shooting -- even test-firing two guns to decide which was easier to use -- and repeatedly adapted his plan to make sure nothing got in his way.

A new trial date hasn't been set but would likely be months away. A hearing was set for next Thursday.

Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske expressed hope that the victims would see justice for what happened and told them, "We will make sure that building is safe, and everyone in it is protected."

"Without a doubt, we will continue to be at the next trial -- every day," said Robin Boehler, chair of the federation's board. "And in the meantime, we miss Pam every single day."



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