Latvian-American lawyer charged in killings

A Latvian-American immigration lawyer has been charged in a killing spree that left five people dead April 28 in Pittsburgh, according to Pennsylvania media reports.

Richard Baumhammers, 34, was arrested in Ambridge, near Pittsburgh, after allegedly killing a Jewish woman, an Indian grocer, two Asian-American restaurant employees and a black man. Baumhammers has been charged with one murder in Beaver County, according to the Beaver County Times. Other murder charges are pending in Allegheny County, where four people died.

Prosecutors also are considering filing hate crime charges against Baumhammers, which may bring a stiffer sentence if Baumhammers is convicted.

Stories carried by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and other media noted that Baumhammers’ parents immigrated to the United States after World War II and that his father is a successful dentist in the Pittsburgh area.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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