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Friday, August 18, 2006 - Page updated at 12:31 AM

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"Hero" turns focus to gun control

Seattle Times staff reporter

In the three weeks since a gunman stormed the Belltown office where she works, killed her close friend and shot her in the arm, Dayna Klein says she has dedicated herself to fighting for tighter gun-control laws.

Klein, 37, said at a news conference Thursday that she wants to know why the man who "invaded" the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle on July 28 was able to purchase guns from shops in the Tri-Cities just before the shootings that killed one woman and wounded Klein and four others.

Klein, whom police have proclaimed a hero for quick thinking that not only saved her unborn baby but the lives of co-workers, voiced her anti-gun concerns to the media and to former President Clinton in person last week. She views the shootings as a reason for her to call for "a safer society for all."

King County prosecutors say Naveed Afzal Haq, 30, forced his way into the secure office. He shot Carol Goldman, Layla Bush, Cheryl Stumbo and Christina Rexroad, charging papers say. He wounded 58-year-old Pamela Waechter, then killed her as she fled.

Klein said she came face to face with the gunman in the doorway of her office. Sensing he might shoot at her unborn child, Klein lowered her left arm to protect the child. The bullet tore through her arm and grazed her leg.

Klein ignored the man's threat to kill anyone who called 911, and she dialed for help.

After Haq caught her, Klein persuaded him to take the phone, court papers say. He ranted on the phone about Jews, Israel and the U.S. role in the war in Iraq and the Middle East before walking outside and surrendering, Klein said.

Klein said she doesn't think about Haq, nor does she have an opinion about whether prosecutors should seek the death penalty.

"Naveed Haq has wasted enough of my time," she said.

Klein said she went to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on Wednesday and talked with Bush, 23, who remains in serious condition. Stumbo, 43, is in satisfactory condition at the hospital. Rexroad, 29, and Goldman, 35, have been released.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com

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