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Suspect ticketed before Jewish center shootings

Police: Pregnant woman was shot in arm protecting her abdomen


Seattle (Washington)
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

SEATTLE, Washington (CNN) -- A man accused of killing one woman and wounding five others at a Jewish center Friday was ticketed for a minor traffic violation a half hour before the shootings, the Seattle police chief said Saturday.

The suspect, Naveed Afzal Haq, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, did "nothing to arouse the officer's suspicion," Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske said in a news conference in which he provided new details of the shootings.

Three of the shooting survivors were in serious condition, according to Harborview Medical Center; the other two victims were in satisfactory condition, including a woman who is five months pregnant. Police said she was shot in the arm while covering her abdomen.

The wounded range in age from 23 to 43. Although all were women, nothing indicated that women specifically were targeted, Kerlikowske said. (Watch armed police take aim as panicked women run -- 1:44)

Haq was ordered held on $50 million bail Saturday pending formal charges of murder and attempted murder, according to The Associated Press.

The 30-year-old Haq, of Pasco, about 200 miles southeast of Seattle, is being held in King County Jail.

According to Kerlikowske, Haq was upset over three world events: U.S. involvement in Iraq; the U.S. backing of Israel; and what Haq said was the mistreatment of the Pakistani people.

Haq found the Jewish center by researching "something Jewish" on the Internet, Kerlikowske said.

The day before the shootings, Haq picked up .40-caliber and .45-caliber semiautomatic handguns from two different stores in the Seattle area after honoring the waiting period for purchasing weapons, Kerlikowske said.

Once he arrived at the Jewish center -- a heavily fortified building with bulletproof windows and security cameras -- Haq hid behind a plant outside one of the center's locked doors. When a young girl approached, he grabbed her and forced her to take him inside, Kerlikowske said.

"She could not have kept him out," the chief said. "She was a hostage at gunpoint."

After asking for the manager, Haq began shooting people inside the center about 4 p.m., Kerlikowske said. Eighteen people were inside the building at the time. One of the first victims was the pregnant woman.

According to witnesses, Haq said only that no one should call 911, Kerlikowske said.

"She crawled back to her office, and that's exactly what she did -- called 911," Kerlikowske said of the pregnant woman. "She was able to get him to take the telephone."

Once Haq began talking to emergency dispatchers, he calmed down, Kerlikowske said. He told the dispatchers: "I'm going to surrender and I'm laying down my gun," Kerlikowske said.

The 37-year-old woman confirmed to police that he put down the weapon, the chief said, calling her "a hero in my eyes."

Search warrants were executed at Haq's apartment and at his parents' home, Kerlikowske said. "A number of items of evidence" were seized, he said, including three computers.

Police watch temples, mosques

Police were protecting temples and mosques Saturday out of fears of retaliation, Kerlikowske said.

In a written statement, the Council on American-Islamic Relations on Friday condemned the attack.

"The American Muslim and Jewish communities must do whatever is within their power to prevent the current conflict in the Middle East from being transplanted to this country," the Washington-based civil rights and advocacy group said.

Robert Jacobs, Pacific Northwest Regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, said the league has been warning Jewish institutions to be wary and have adequate security because of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

If they cannot, he said, it would be better for Jews "not to congregate in one location that might be an obvious site."

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels described Friday's shooting as "a crime of hate."

"There's no place for that in the city of Seattle," he said. "This was a purposeful hateful act, as far as we know, by an individual acting alone."

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