Anti-immigration manifesto found in home of shooting suspect

PITTSBURGH - The man arrested in a killing spree that left three immigrants, a Jewish woman and a black man dead had a history of mental illness and irrational fears that he was being watched, a former friend and his attorney said Sunday.

Police searching the home where Richard Scott Baumhammers, 34, lived prior to Friday's attacks also found a three-page manifesto indicating he was trying to form a political party opposed to immigration, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

The document, which included Baumhammers' signature as ''chairman'' of The Free Market Party, advocated the rights of European Americans and denounced Third World immigration, according to a prosecution source whom the newspaper didn't name.

''From what I saw and from what I read, it seemed to advocate violence,'' the source said.

Mike Manko, a spokesman for District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr., said Sunday he had no comment on the Post-Gazette report that Baumhammers had been trying to recruit members for an anti-immigrant party just days before the shooting.

Investigators reconstructing Friday's trail of death believe Baumhammers walked into his neighbor's house and fatally shot Anita Gordon, 63, a Jewish interior designer. They believe he then drove to her synagogue and fired at the front doors.

Police say Baumhammers also shot up the doors of another synagogue, shot and wounded one man and killed another at an Indian grocery, killed a Vietnamese delivery driver and a Chinese manager at a restaurant, and gunned down a black man at a suburban karate school. Officers eventually cornered him about 20 miles from the first attack.

Baumhammers has been charged in one death, that of 22-year-old karate student Garry Lee. More charges are expected this week.

Baumhammers' attorney, William Difenderfer, said Sunday that his client has a history of mental illness, though he wouldn't elaborate.

''It is way too early to say anything,'' he said.

A neurologist who had befriended Baumhammers in an Internet chat group about the eastern European country of Latvia, where Baumhammers' parents were born, and had traveled with him, said Baumhammers often expressed paranoid ideas and sometimes believed he was being followed.

''Some of the things he said were just so outlandish,'' Dr. George Naruns said Sunday from his home in St. Petersburg, Fla.

He said Baumhammers would come across as normal in one conversation and express strange ideas in the next. He also appeared to have personality problems including ''braggadocio'' that made people uneasy and may have interfered with his attempts to get a job and make friends.

But Naruns said he never saw Baumhammers enraged.

''The sad thing is that if he could have gotten some counseling or some help, he could have dealt with some of these minor issues before they turned into all of this,'' Naruns said.

Naruns said he started keeping a ''polite distance'' from Baumhammers 2 years ago after he heard from other friends that Baumhammers had been critical of him.

In one of the more recent conversations between the two, he said Baumhammers said he had applied for a job with an accounting firm in Latvia.

Baumhammers was trained in immigration law, but he hadn't practiced in recent years. He listed his parents' address for his business, Baumhammers Law Firm. Police said he made frequent trips to Europe, particularly Latvia.

Attorney Lee Rothman told the Post-Gazette he met Saturday with the suspect, who was being kept under suicide watch at Beaver County Jail. He said that Baumhammers had been treated since 1993 for an unspecified mental disorder and that Baumhammers had voluntarily admitted himself to a psychiatric ward at least once.

Sunday afternoon, about 700 people gathered at a Hindu temple to remember Anil Thakur, 31, one of the men gunned down at the Indian grocery in Carnegie. The other man, Sandip Patel, 25, remained hospitalized Sunday in critical condition.

''The Indian community stands strongly united in condemning this violence,'' said Vinod Shah, the chairman of the Hindu Jain Temple in Monroeville. ''We cannot forget our belief in nonviolence.''


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