Note: this is part of a series about America’s first counterterrorism unit. You can read part one here. After staking out the house located at 7700 16th Street, Washington D.C., seven black men made two phone calls to the house from their motel. In the first call, one of the men pretended to be a handyman looking for work. The residents of the house said he should come by around noon to fix the lock on their basement door. Soon after, the men called the house again, this time pretending to be interested in literature for sale by the occupant’s organization. He was told that he could swing by later in the day to purchase some pamphlets (King, 18).

The seven men then drove to the train station to pick up an eighth member of their team. Piling into two Cadillacs, they then drove to the house at 7700 16th street to commit the greatest mass murder in Washington, D.C. history. First, two of the seven men approached the front door asking about the pamphlets. One of the residents answered the door, then asked them to wait while she retrieved them. When she came back, a third man was present, claiming to be the handyman. All three men pushed her aside, and entered the premises, pulling out pistols and sawed off shotguns. The other five associates emerged from the Cadillacs and entered the house behind them (King, 19).

The men burst into the kitchen, waving their weapons around. A young woman feeding her 18-month-old daughter her lunch screamed. “One of the men yelled at her to shut up, then he yanked her daughter from her arms, taking her out of the kitchen” (King, 19) and bringing her upstairs. The seven intruders were upset because the target of their attack was not at home.

“Why are you all doing this to us? What did we do to you?” one of the women asked. “Ask your leader,” one of the gunmen replied. “He knew we would come calling on him; ask him about that letter” (King, 20).

The gunman upstairs heard other children crying and calling for their mommy. He found them in their room. In addition to the 18-month-old girl, there were her cousins, a one-year-old girl, and her three-year-old brother. A nine-day-old infant also lay in a bed wrapped in a blanket. Hearing cries from the other room, the gunman searched the closet and discovered an 11-year-old boy.

Meanwhile, the four adults in the household, two men and two women, were taken down to the basement, laid on the floor, and executed. The gunman upstairs became irritated as the children cried louder with the gunshots sounding from below. Removing the infant from the bed, he disappeared into the bathroom (King, 21). One by one, he came back and retrieved each of the children, and took them to the bathroom until they stopped crying.

On the ground floor, the house patriarch, Khaliffa Hamaas Abdul Khaalis, and his wife returned home. There was a brief altercation at the door. Khaalis had his wife run next door to a neighbor to phone the police. When the intruders realized what was happening, they bolted out the back door. Khaalis ran after them for half a mile until they fired a shot at him. Unarmed, and realizing that these men had been ransacking his home with his family inside, he quickly ran back.

When he got back to the house, the police had arrived and began searching the house. The basement was covered in blood, the two men dead. By some miracle, the women were unconscious but alive. Radioing for an ambulance, one of the policemen searched the second floor with his pistol drawn. In the bathroom, he found three children floating in the bathtub and the infant floating belly-up in the sink. In one of the bedroom closets, they discovered the body of an 11-year-old boy, murdered with a gunshot to the head (King, 24).