Meriden mosque shooter preaching religious tolerance before reporting to prison

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MERIDEN--The man who shot up a mosque neighboring his Meriden home is spending his remaining days before prison preaching religious understanding.

Ted Hakey, Jr., 49, returned to the House Of Peace mosque to sit down with FOX 61 on Monday, just days after being sentenced to six months in prison for shooting at the mosque in the hours after the Paris attacks last November.

In the very prayer room he shot at, signs of his past hatred still riddle the walls and ceiling.

During a night of drinking, Hakey fired four high-powered bullets into the mosque from his house.

Since then Hakey and the mosque have formed a bond and made a pledge to work together to spread the message of "True Islam" which is peace.

"He became an ambassador for unity and coming together for demographics that we could not reach out to," mosque leader Zahir Mannan said.

"Just takes a little education that’s all, understanding, and just communication," Hakey said.

Hakey is supposed to turn himself in to federal prison on August 15.