July 28, 2006

A MASS SHOOTING at the Seattle Jewish Center:

At least five people were shot, one of them fatally, Friday afternoon at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, and one person was arrested, authorities said.

Five or six people were wounded, assistant police chief Jim Pugel said.

One person died, fire department spokeswoman Helen Fitzpatrick said.

One wounded woman was shot in the abdomen and another woman was hit in the arm, according to news accounts. Information on the others wounded was not immediately available. . . .

Several witnesses said they saw a man walk up and shoot a woman in the leg on a sidewalk near the building.

“We heard this horrible screaming on the floor above us and shots,” Patti Simon said in a phone interview, her voice shaking. “We didn’t know what was happening.”

Simon, who sells advertising for the federation’s newspaper, was working on the first floor when she heard screaming, shots and what sounded like furniture crashing on the floor above.

Yoni is posting updates, and the Seattle Times reports:

According to Amy Wasser-Simpson, the vice president for planning and community services for the Jewish Federation, the man told staff members, “I’m a Muslim American; I’m angry at Israel,” then began shooting, Wasser-Simpson said she heard the account from staff members who witnessed the shootings.

Another report, however, says he’s a Pakistani national. Early reports are often wrong, so stay tuned.

PJ Media has a big roundup with lots of photos, maps and links.

UPDATE: More here:

Sources told KING 5 the suspect is a 31-year-old Pakistani man with a criminal background. He is from the Pasco but his citizenship status or how long he has lived in the United States is unknown. Also unknown is what sort of criminal record he has. Officials are on the way to the Pasco to interview his family.

FBI spokesman David Gomez said officials believe the suspect acted alone and is not affiliated with a foreign organization.

I suppose that’s probably right, though I don’t know how they could possibly have much basis for that belief at this point. And regardless, I think this is particularly bad news for both American Jews and American Muslims. But it’s bad news for all of us.

Meanwhile, Charles Johnson has video, and notes that all of the shooting victims were women.