Muhammad was seeking silencer


November 8, 2002 

During his stay in Bellingham last year, sniper suspect John Muhammad made at least three attempts to acquire a silencer for a rifle, according to documents Bellingham police released Thursday.

Muhammad went so far as to show an acquaintance "blueprints" of the silencer he wanted.

The 55-page report on Muhammad and accused accomplice John Lee Malvo mostly contains interviews with people who came forward after the pair were arrested Oct. 24 in Maryland.

Others spoke to Bellingham police in late 2001, after becoming suspicious about Muhammad's behavior.

One of those people was Kristine Sagor, the manager of a Sumas apartment building where Muhammad did odd jobs.

In November 2001, Muhammad asked Sagor to give him a ride to a home near the Lummi Indian Reservation. Sagor agreed, and told police she took her dog for a walk while Muhammad talked with a man inside.

At some point, Sagor walked by the house and heard the men talking about "shortening the barrel, getting a silencer and getting a collapsible stock."

Muhammad later told Sagor he went to that particular gunsmith because he didn't want to deal with a place that required lots of paperwork, according to the police report.

When police later interviewed the gunsmith, he told them he never talked with Muhammad about acquiring a silencer.

Instead, Muhammad had asked if the gunsmith could shorten the barrel of a "Winchester Model 70" rifle so that it could be carried in a case, the gunsmith told investigators.

The gunsmith told Muhammad he couldn't do the work for him.

Another employee at the Sumas apartment complex also told police he remembered Muhammad asking where he might get a silencer. The employee told Muhammad to check out a sporting goods store not far from the Lighthouse Mission, the homeless shelter where Muhammad and Malvo stayed.

Harjeet Singh remembered meeting Muhammad at the Bellingham YMCA. Singh later told police Muhammad made a number of anti-police and anti-American comments.

"Harjeet Singh said that during some of his conversations with John Muhammad, he had made the comment that he wanted to shoot a police officer and then plant a bomb at the funeral so that he could kill more police officers," according to the report.

In April of this year, Muhammad and Malvo met with Singh in Bellingham for tea. Muhammad asked Singh if he knew of any "machine shops" in British Columbia that could help him make a silencer. Muhammad then showed Singh two pieces of paper which Singh believed to be "professionally done" blueprints for a silencer.

Staff writer Sean Robinson contributed to this report.

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