Man charged in Seattle shootings may plead guilty

Naveed Afzal Haq is accused of shooting six people at Seattle's Jewish Federation offices last month.

seattle murderer 88 (photo credit: )
seattle murderer 88
(photo credit: )
The man accused of shooting six people at Seattle's Jewish Federation offices last month has indicated he wants to plead guilty, his attorney told a judge Thursday. Naveed Afzal Haq, of the Seattle area, was charged with murder in the death of Pamela Waechter, who was the director of the Jewish charity's annual fundraising campaign, and with five counts of attempted murder. The 30-year-old said little at his brief arraignment Thursday, but his court-appointed attorney, C. Wesley Richards, told the judge Haq "is indicating that it is his desire to enter guilty pleas." Richards said he was not aware before the hearing that Haq intended to plead guilty. At the attorney's request, the rest of the hearing was delayed until Tuesday to give him time to determine whether Haq is competent to enter a guilty plea. Haq was accused of forcing his way into the downtown offices of the Seattle charity on July 28 and opening fire with a handgun, saying that he was upset about the war in Iraq and US support of Israel. He was being held in the King County Jail without bail. Prosecutors had not decided whether they would seek the death penalty. The judge Thursday granted a prosecution request to bar Haq from having contact with the survivors of the shooting or volunteers and employees of the Jewish Federation. Some volunteers from the Jewish Federation quietly watched the proceedings in the courtroom, which was heavily staffed by security officers. The courthouse had metal detectors at its entrance, but spectators at Haq's hearing had to pass through another metal detector outside the courtroom. In addition to the murder and attempted murder counts, Haq was charged with first-degree kidnapping, involving a teenage girl who was briefly taken hostage; first-degree burglary, for allegedly entering a locked facility to commit a crime; and malicious harassment under the state's hate-crime law.