A lone gunman burst into a Jewish organization in downtown Seattle on Friday, killing one woman and wounding five others in what authorities were calling a hate crime.
The gunman, Naveed Afzal Haq, 31, was arrested without a struggle at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, where the shooting took place. He was later charged by Seattle police with one count of murder and five counts of attempted murder.
Haq is a U.S. citizen, police said, and their initial conversation with him by phone while he was inside the building indicated that he was a Muslim.
Police would not disclose the content of the conversation, but Amy Wasser-Simpson, the federation's vice president, told the Seattle Times in a story on its Web site the man got past security at the building and shouted, "I'm a Muslim American; I'm angry at Israel," before he began shooting.
"This was a purposeful, hateful act as far as we know, by an individual acting alone," said Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels at a news conference, adding "This is a crime of hate."
Authorities said they were "taking every precaution" in searching for explosives and additional suspects and were monitoring the city's synagogues and Jewish organizations.
"We are also protecting mosques, because there is always the concern of retaliatory crime," said Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske.
Seattle police alerted its officers earlier this week about carefully monitoring synagogues, temples and mosques, but Kerlikowske said it had received no specific threats.
The FBI was working with local authorities on the case.
FEDERATION HAD PRO-ISRAEL RALLY
Police first responded to reports of shots fired and a possible hostage situation at the center shortly after 4 p.m., when there were about 18 people in the offices
Haq, described by a 911 caller as a man in his 30s or 40s, surrendered to police unarmed, but authorities found his weapon, a large-caliber, semi-automatic handgun, inside the building, according to Kerlikowske.
A hospital spokeswoman said three of the victims are in critical condition. The surviving women range in age from 23 to 43, including one who is pregnant. The fatal victim was only identified as a white female.
The federation, a group covering the Jewish community around the Puget Sound, had organized a large rally last weekend to demonstrate support for Israel in its fight against Hizbollah in southern Lebanon.
"I express our collective shock and dismay over the attack that has left five of our colleagues wounded and to share our extraordinary sadness for the loss of one of our colleagues," Robin Boehler, federation chair, said.