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Pakistani philosopher killed by suspect with history of violence, mental illness

The Southeast D.C. man charged with first-degree murder for the shooting of his neighbor, Jawaid Bhutto, 64 — prominent Pakistani philosopher and scholar — was found not guilty by reason of insanity for a previous homicide in 1998.

Court documents reveal that Hilman Jordan, 45, who is currently being held without bond for the murder of Bhutto, was indicted by a grand jury 21 years ago for shooting and killing his cousin. 

The documents say Jordan shot and killed his cousin, Kenneth Luke, on August 7, 1998. He was indicted later that month on charges of first-degree murder while armed, possession of a firearm during a violent crime and carrying a pistol without a license.

Jordan was committed to Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital on October 1, 1999. In 2003, the court began to order his gradual conditional release, including visits to his mother’s house on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jordan violated the conditions of his gradual release in 2005 when he obtained a gun from his family home and carried it to St. Elizabeth’s with the intent to kill a peer.

That violation sparked his transfer to a maximum security ward, where he remained for the next five years.

In January 2015, the government consented to a court order providing Jordan with an expanded conditional release, including overnight visits with family, unaccompanied community travel and eventual full convalescent leave.

The hospital told the court he had “sufficiently recovered from his mental illness to be granted an expansion of his conditional release privileges without posing a danger to himself or others.”

The terms of the January 2015 order prohibited Jordan from possessing firearms, or consuming alcohol or illegal drugs.

Jordan fatally shot Bhutto on Friday, March 1 around 11 a.m. in the parking lot of 2610 Wade Road S.E. — the apartment building where Bhutto resided with his wife, journalist Nafisa Hoodbhoy.

Jordan lived on the second floor of the building. Hoodbhoy told NBC Washington her husband had complained about the odor of Jordan’s smoking wafting into his residence and disturbing his sleep.

Police say they have been able to observe the entire shooting from beginning to end thanks to surveillance video. Charging documents say the video shows Jordan approaching Bhutto and firing a handgun as Bhutto exited his car in the parking lot.

Police say a search warrant of Jordan’s apartment uncovered, among other things, a 9 mm handgun and a marijuana cigarette. He was taken into custody on the balcony of his apartment.

Family members of Bhutto say his death is being widely mourned in his home region of Sindh, Pakistan. He was chairman of the philosophy department at Sindh University.

Jordan is being held without bond and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in D.C. Superior Court on March 12.

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