3 mem­bers of Har­ford Co. fam­ily found slain

Po­lice say man killed wife in Bel Air, then shot son, him­self in Col­lege Park

Baltimore Sun - - FRONT PAGE - By Kevin Rec­tor, Jessica An­der­son and Justin Fen­ton

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.

‘Just un­be­liev­able’

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.

Notes dis­cov­ered

“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.

MATT BUT­TON//BAL­TI­MORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

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