The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle responded to a King County jury's guilty verdict for the man who forced his way into the Jewish Federation on July 28, 2006, shooting six employees and killing then campaign director Pamela Waechter. This was the second trial for Mr. Haq. The first ended in a mistrial.
"We are grateful that justice for this heinous hate crime has finally been served," stated Richard Fruchter, President & CEO of the Jewish Federation. "Our hearts go out to the survivors of this shooting and their families, who bravely endured not only the shooting but two trials," continued Fruchter.
Naveed Haq held a teenager at gunpoint as he forced his way into the Jewish Federation and went on a shooting rampage that terrorized dozens of Jewish Federation employees and killed Waechter. Five other Jewish Federation employees who survived sustained serious injuries from the shooting: Layla Bush, Carol Goldman, Dayna Klein, Christina Rexroad and Cheryl Stumbo.
"This guilty verdict will provide closure for many in the Seattle Jewish community. However, even with this strong message that violence and hate crimes will not be tolerated, we are painfully aware that we cannot bring back Pam, nor erase all the scars and lifelong challenges to be faced by Carol, Christina, Layla, Cheryl and Dayna," said Fruchter.
"By its very definition, a hate crime creates fear within an entire group of people. This one act forever changed the feeling of safety in our local Jewish community and for Jewish communal professionals everywhere."
The clear message this verdict sends in condemning hate, the continuing assistance and assurance from the police department and elected officials, and the outpouring of support and goodwill from around the world has provided healing and a sense of community that will never be forgotten.
In the three years since the shooting, the Jewish Federation has rebuilt its facilities, hired new and committed staff, raised and distributed over $24 million for human services and education, and is moving the community forward - always remembering in its heart the terrible event that took place on July 28, 2006.