Man charged with shooting at Meriden mosque to appear in federal court

Ted Hakey Jr. (Photo: U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly's Office)

MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH)– A hearing is scheduled in federal court for the man charged with firing shots at a Meriden mosque.

On Friday, officials said they matched bullets fired at that building to shell casings in a neighbor’s front yard. In addition to those shell casing, investigators also found text messages on the cell phone of Ted Hakey Junior…text messages that had Hakey in court on Friday and he will back here in New Haven federal court Monday, facing federal hate crime charges.

The incident happened back in November, just after the terrorist attacks in Paris. Hakey lives next door to the Baitul Aman Mosque in Meriden. Police say he took his high-powered rifle and fired several shots at the mosque, hitting the building four times, three of those bullets went through the wall right into the building.

Related: Arrest made after bullets hit Meriden mosque

Fortunately, no one was hurt. Investigators traced the bullets to Hakey’s home and found 18 shell casings in his yard. That was enough for a search warrant. In his home, they found two dozen different guns, more than a thousand rounds of ammunition and a bulletproof vest.

They seized his cellphone and on it were texts, one of which said he wanted to “unload on Muslims. I’m in a target rich environment.” And then, on the day of the shooting, another text “If the Muslims attack over here again, it’s over for them.”

News 8 spoke to the head of the mosque. He was surprised that it was a neighbor who was arrested, and that Islam is a peaceful religion.

Hakey told investigators he was not shooting at the mosque, but at a woodpile in his yard and he missed. He can tell that to the judge. He’ll be in court later Monday.

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