Gunman arrested after threatening to kill Rep. Pramila Jayapal outside her Seattle home

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A gunman who allegedly threatened to kill Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) was arrested outside his Seattle home Saturday on suspicion of committing a hate crime, police said.

The man, whose name has been redacted from publicly available police reports, was released from jail on Wednesday because police could not confirm his threats or he told Jayapal to ‘go back to India’ , and an investigation is underway, the Seattle Times reported.

On Saturday night, Jayapal called 911 to report that someone was outside his house using obscene language and may have fired a pellet gun, according to a probable cause statement from Seattle police. obtained by King 5 News.

According to the statement, police found a 48-year-old man outside Jayapal’s home who was “standing in the middle of the street with his hands in the air” and a Glock 22 .40 caliber handgun strapped to his waist. .

A neighbor told police she heard the man shout something like, “Go back to India; I will kill you,” and that she had seen the man walk past Jayapal’s house three times shouting profanity, the statement said.

The suspect was arrested shortly before midnight Saturday, police said. They said he told them that “he knew who lived at the residence and wanted to pitch a tent on their property,” the statement said.

Jayapal, 56, was born in India and moved to the United States to attend college when she was 16. She has been a member of Congress since 2017 and was the first South Asian woman elected to the House. Jayapal is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

In a statementJayapal’s office confirmed she was present when “incidents” occurred outside her home on Saturday.

“The MP and her family are safe and appreciate the many calls and well wishes she receives from constituents,” her office said. “She is very grateful for the quick and professional response from the Seattle Police Department, United States Capitol Police and FBI investigators who are working together diligently on the investigation and ensuring that she and her family stay safe.”

His office declined to comment further, citing an ongoing investigation.

The Associated Press reported Seattle police were concerned about the man’s behavior and mental health and on Wednesday obtained a temporary extreme risk protection order forcing him to surrender his firearms and concealed pistol permit.

Casey McNerthney, a spokesperson for the King County prosecutor’s office, told the AP that prosecutors do not yet have evidence to prove a hate crime and that a person should be released from jail after 72 hours if criminal charges have not been filed by then.

“In a time of heightened political violence, security concerns against any elected official must be taken seriously, as we do here,” McNerthney told the AP. “The investigation is ongoing and our office is working with police investigators to ensure we understand the full extent of the suspect’s actions in order to build the strongest case possible.”

Representatives from the Seattle Police Department and the King County District Attorney’s Office did not respond to requests for comment and additional information Thursday.

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