Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Suspect in Killings an Alienated Recluse Immigration Lawyer Led Unassuming Life

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Suspect in Killings an Alienated Recluse Immigration Lawyer Led Unassuming Life

Article excerpt

PITTSBURGH -- As police continued investigating yesterday the man who they say fatally shot five people -- including three immigrants -- in an apparent rampage of hate killings, a picture of a reclusive and alienated immigration lawyer began to emerge.

Authorities said Saturday that there may be further clues in a two-page note found in Richard S. Baumhammers' home. Investigators declined to say what was in the note, which they believe Baumhammers typed.

Baumhammers was arrested Friday afternoon after allegedly shooting and killing a Jewish woman who lived next door to him; an Indian man at a grocery store; two Asian men at a Chinese restaurant; and a black man at a karate school.

The 34-year-old suspect is the son of Latvian immigrants.

He was reared in affluence and privilege in a Pittsburgh suburb of judges and doctors and business leaders.

Nevertheless, he led an unassuming life, had an unspectacular legal career, and in his well-to-do community was a recluse whom people say they hardly remember.

They know him now as the man who police say lost control Friday during a 72-minute killing rampage across a 20-mile stretch of southwestern Pennsylvania.

In addition to the five people killed, another man of Indian descent was shot in the neck and critically injured.

Twice Baumhammers, a tall, burly man, allegedly stopped to fire rounds at two synagogues, one filled with children attending day care in a back room. He also spray-painted the word "Jew" and two swastikas on the synagogue wall.

His rampage surprised some who knew him who said it once appeared he had a bright future.

After post-college sojourns around the country and abroad, he returned to live with his parents in their tranquil, Mount Lebanon neighborhood.

He jetted to places such as Russia, France, Germany and the Balkans. He studied at Cumberland Law School in Birmingham, Ala., spent a semester at the internationally acclaimed University of Heidelberg in Germany, and earned a master's degree in transnational business practice from the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, Calif. …

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