"I'm Angry at Israel"
This happened about 5 blocks from where I work.
Local TV station KIRO has the following report:
The gunman forced his way through the security door at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle at 4 p.m. after an employee had punched in her security code, Marla Meislin-Dietrich, a database coordinator for the center, told The Associated Press.I'm not sure that David Gomez has been paying enough attention to the events of the past two weeks in Lebanon. If he was, I don't think he'd conclude that the shooter's antagonism was merely toward "this particular organization". Obviously the man spoke out against Israel, and was exacting some kind of revenge in his mind for Israel's bombing of Lebanon.
"He said 'I am a Muslim American, angry at Israel,' before opening fire on everyone," Meislin-Dietrich said. "He was randomly shooting at everyone."
One staff member who was shot twice escaped through the back door, said Meislin-Dietrich, who was working away from the office and relaying information provided by coworkers who were at the building.
Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman Helen Fitzpatrick confirmed one person died but had no additional information about that victim.
At least two women, ages 23 and 29, were shot, a third woman was shot, and one person suffered a knee injury that may have been caused by shattered glass or a gunshot, Fitzpatrick said.
A statement from Harborview Medical Center said five victims, ranging in age from early 20s to 40s, were being treated. Three were listed in critical condition and were in surgery. The victims had knee, groin, abdomen and arm injuries.
David Gomez, an FBI assistant special agent in charge of counterterrorism, said investigators believe the gunman targeted the federation.
"We believe at this point it's a lone individual acting out antagonism toward this particular organization," Gomez said.
Then again, news of that war is only just starting to trickle into this part of the world. Until a few days ago you'd easily be able to not notice given how little media coverage in the local newspapers there was.
Seattle is not usually the site for such shooting sprees. The town gets shaken up when they do happen. They are still talking about one that happened four months ago.
Certainly this will be a shooting that will be long reported on, especially since the shooter is still alive, and there will be a trial and sentencing. Yet, the fact the shooting can be tied to the Middle East, and the Israeli war in Lebanon, widens the interest of this tragic story. It brings home, and all too close for my liking, that the events in Lebanon matter and affect us all.
I have been writing about the fact the Israeli aggression has been way out of proportion to the transgression they claim to be avenging. I cannot see any benefit in it for Israel and the larger fight against terrorism. All this has done is inflame the situation and created more enemies. Those in Lebanon that have lost loved ones and family, on either side, will grow up with hatred in their hearts, and in turn will seek a revenge of their own. They may be the future suicide bombers on Israeli buses, or shooters such as the one in Seattle today.
That is why an immediate cessation of hostilities must be brokered, and the USA needs to urge both sides to come to the table again. To be honest I think it has been left far too late now. The damage has already been done and the clock has been turned back 40 years. So many lives in Lebanon, Israel, and now in Seattle, have been lost as a result. When war is made to be the only solution there can be no winners.