You remember Naveed Haq, the Pakistani-American who declared “I am a Muslim American, angry at Israel,” before shooting six innocent women and killing one at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle building last July? He has entered his plea in the case:
A man accused of opening fire at a Seattle Jewish charity last summer, killing one woman and wounding five others as he allegedly ranted about Jewish people, will raise an insanity defense in his trial next January.
Naveed Haq changed his plea Wednesday to not guilty by reason of insanity for the 20 criminal charges he now faces, including the 11 new charges that King County prosecutors filed Wednesday morning.
Haq’s attorneys, C. Wesley Richards and John Carpenter, said Haq has a long history of mental illness, hospitalizations and suicide attempts over the years. He has most consistently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder with psychotic features, which Richards called “a very debilitating type of mental disorder.”
“Obviously, we believe it had a substantial impact on Mr. Haq’s conduct,” Richards said.
The attorneys also dispute that Haq committed a hate crime. Richards said Haq did not “as a result of religious hatred.”
To be found insane, jurors must agree that Haq’s mental illness made him either unable to perceive the nature of what he was doing or took away his ability to tell right from wrong.
Haq is accused of forcing his way into the secure Belltown offices of the federation on July 28 by holding a gun to the back of a 14-year-old girl.
He carried two guns, court documents allege, and spewed anti-Semitic statements as he made his way through the office, randomly shooting people he encountered as some screamed and tried to escape or hide.
The shooting came a day after the FBI had warned Jewish organizations nationwide to be on alert after Hezbollah leaders in Lebanon and al-Qaida’s second in command urged that the war raging in the Middle East be carried to the U.S.
Haq reportedly told operators in a 911 call during the shooting, “These are Jews. I want these Jews to get out.”
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