6 SHOT, 1 FATALLY AT SEATTLE JEWISH CENTER
By TIM BOOTH, Associated Press Writer 50 minutes ago
SEATTLE - A man
walked into a Jewish organization Friday afternoon and opened fire, killing one woman and injuring at least five others before
he was arrested, officials said.
The gunman, who employees
said claimed to be a Muslim angry at Israel, forced
his way through the security door at the Jewish Federation after an employee had punched in her security code, said Marla
Meislin-Dietrich, a co-worker who was not at the building at the time.
Staff members said they
overheard him saying "'I am a Muslim American, angry at Israel,'
before opening fire on everyone," Meislin-Dietrich said. "He was randomly shooting at everyone."
Police would not confirm
David Gomez, an FBI assistant special agent in charge of counterterrorism, said investigators
believe the gunman targeted the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.
"We believe at this point
it's a lone individual acting out antagonism toward this particular organization," Gomez said.
Authorities have been advising
synagogues and Jewish groups to be watchful in the weeks since hostilities erupted between Israel
The federation's Web site
describes its mission as "to ensure Jewish survival and enhance the quality of Jewish life by meeting needs locally, in Israel and worldwide."
Jim Pugel, an assistant
police chief, said the shooter called 911 and was talked out of the building.
Police blocked off several
city blocks and evacuated several nearby buildings as they investigated. A SWAT team searched the federation building, looking
for any other victims or any other possible shooters, police spokesman Rich Pruitt said.
But Pruitt said investigators
were confident that the man they had in custody was the only suspect.
Patti Simon was at work
at the federation's newspaper on the first floor when she heard the commotion and what sounded like furniture crashing on
the second floor.
"We heard this horrible
screaming on the floor above us and shots," said Simon, 52, who sells advertising at the paper. "We didn't know what was happening."
Simon called up to her co-workers
on the second floor, but got no answer, so she called the police and fled the building.
"People got shot, some of
our co-workers," Simon said, her voice shaking. "I just got back from Israel
and made it out of there a half hour before the rockets started."
A small pool of blood remained
outside a nearby coffee shop, where several witnesses said they saw a man walk up and shoot a woman in the leg on a sidewalk.
One person died at the scene
of the shooting, and five women ranging in age from 19 to 43 were taken to Harborview
Medical Center, three of them
in critical condition, Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman Helen Fitzpatrick said. Deanna Nollette, a police spokeswoman,
said the deceased was a woman who was shot.
The names of the victims
were not immediately released.