3 members of Harford Co. family found slain
Police say man killed wife in Bel Air, then shot son, himself in College Park
A retired Army officer from Harford County is believed to have killed his wife at their home in Bel Air and then their son near the University of Maryland, College Park before taking his own life, law enforcement officials said Thursday.
Nasir Siddique, 57, is the sole suspect in the fatal shootings Wednesday of his 48-year-old wife, Zarqa Siddique, a Harford County public schools employee, and their 19-year-old son, Farhad Siddique, a junior at the University of Maryland, said law enforcement officials from Harford and Prince George’s counties.
Police did not release a motive in the killings but said they are reviewing notes that were left at the home. They believe Nasir Siddique killed his wife before driving to College Park, where he and his son —
who would have turned 20 on Thursday — were found dead in a Jeep.
Nasir Siddique was a decorated military officer, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Army’s Medical Service Corps. He worked as a preventive medicine officer, according to his military service records.
He joined the Army in February 1981 before heading to the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program at Kansas State University. Siddique’s first assignment upon being commissioned was at Aberdeen Proving Ground, and he went on to serve in positions around the country, ending his military career in 2010 in Washington, according to his records.
At the time of his death, he was employed in the environmental branch of the public works department at Aberdeen Proving Ground, a base spokeswoman said.
He also was a member of the Governor’s Commission on Maryland Military Monuments.
Aasi Tahir Siddique, Nasir’s brother, said Nasir had sent him a text message at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, in which he wrote that he was under stress and referred to his job. He also said his brother had been depressed since their mother died in March. Still, the news of what happened was shocking, he said, because he doesn’t believe his brother could ever “reach the point” of harming his family in such a way.
“This is just unbelievable,” Aasi Siddique said. “I just can’t figure this out.”
He said his niece, the couple’s surviving daughter, is “completely devastated.”
Deputies from the Harford County sheriff’s office responded to the family’s home in the 1200 block of Mikara Court in Bel Air about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday for a “check the well-being request,” the sheriff’s office said.
Deputies were “unable to make contact with the residents,” the sheriff’s office said, but because of “the totality of the circumstances, and investigative evidence observed at the scene, deputies forced entry and began clearing the residence.”
“The deputies certainly believed that there was somebody possibly in need of emergency assistance inside the house, which is why they forced entry. And unfortunately, they were correct, but a little bit too late,” said Maj. William Davis, head of the Harford sheriff’s police operations bureau.
Inside, deputies found Zarqa Siddique in a bathtub with a gunshot wound to the head, the sheriff’s office said. Officials said they believe she had been dead for several hours. Maj. William Davis of the Harford County sheriff’s office said there was no “clear determination of exactly what caused [Nasir] Siddique to commit these atrocities.”
Nasir Siddique, who was not in the home, was identified as the suspect, though officials did not have “a clear determination of exactly what caused Mr. Siddique to commit these atrocities,” Davis said.
“There were some notes left behind, but obviously the notes that were left behind are part of the investigation right now, a part of us trying to determine exactly what the motive for this incident was,” he said.
While deputies were still on the scene, they were contacted by police in Prince George’s County, who said they were investigating a suspected murder-suicide involving the family there.
Farhad Siddique had been reported missing to university police by friends about 9 p.m., police said, after he failed to show up for a class and didn’t respond to messages.
About10:30 p.m., Prince George’s County and University of Maryland police officers were called to a parking lot in the1800 block of 48th Ave. in College Park, behind an off-campus condominium complex, police said.
Capt. Brian Reilly of the Prince George’s County police homicide unit said the friends called police after recognizing the family’s Jeep in the parking lot and seeing broken glass.
When officers arrived, they found Nasir Siddique in the driver’s seat with a gun in his lap and his son in the passenger seat. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Reilly said investigators are “in the early stages” of their investigation and are interviewing family members and coworkers of Nasir Siddique.
“For somebody to take that step to kill their own child — you never understand that. It’s tough to describe how somebody could do that,” Reilly said.
Davis said deputies in Harford County recovered a “projectile” in the family’s Bel Air home that they believe was fired from a revolver that matches the weapon recovered in Prince George’s County.
No warning signs
Davis said there had been “no previous indications of any problems at the house, no calls for service, no domestic violence or anything like that.”
Reilly said the couple’s daughter attends school out of state.
Zarqa Siddique worked as an inclusion helper at Prospect Mill Elementary School in Bel Air, said Jillian Lader, a Harford schools spokeswoman. Inclusion helpers “provide support and assistance to students with severe disabilities,” according to a county job description.
“Appropriate support is and will continue to be in place at the school for our students and staff as they are made aware of and process this loss,” Lader said.
Farhad Siddique graduated from C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air, where he played tennis, in 2014.
Crystal Brown, a University of Maryland spokeswoman, said the campus community was “deeply saddened” by Farhad Siddique’s death, but declined to comment on his time at the school.
“This is a tragedy that will be felt by our entire community,” Brown said. “During this time of loss, we extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the victims.”
‘Dear friend and brother’
The university’s Muslim Students Association also mourned Farhad Siddique’s death, calling him “a dear friend and brother to many in the University of Maryland community” in a Facebook post.
“He is remembered as a hardworking, compassionate individual who helped others in any way he could,” the group wrote.
Nasir Siddique was appointed to a four-year term on the Governor’s Commission on Maryland Military Monuments in 2012 by then-Gov. Martin O’Malley. The commission inventories the state’s 108 military monuments, ensures their upkeep, and prepares educational and tourism materials related to their history.
Shareese N. Churchill, a spokeswoman for Gov. Larry Hogan, called the events “an unspeakable tragedy” and said “the governor’s prayers are with the family of the victims of this horrific crime.”
Aasi Siddique had proudly posted about his brother’s family on a blog on the CNN website.
In a 2014 post, he wrote that Nasir and Zarqa were born in Pakistan and migrated to the United States at a young age. He said his brother “proudly served our country with dedication and pride.”
In another post, he wrote that he was “humbled and proud of my brother” and admired his “dedication, pride, commitment and true patriotism for God, country and family.”
Anyone with information about the College Park incident is asked to call the Prince George’s County police homicide unit at 301-772-4925 or Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.