Political strategist dies after stabbing in Raleigh home
Posted April 24, 2013
Updated April 25, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — A 29-year-old political fundraiser well known in Raleigh for her work on high-profile campaigns died Wednesday morning of injuries she received in a stabbing at her north Raleigh home.
Jamie Kirk Hahn and her 27-year-old husband, Nation Richard Hahn, were attacked Monday, Raleigh police said, by Jonathan Wayne Broyhill, 31, who is a longtime friend of the couple and was the best man at their wedding in 2009.
Nation Hahn was treated and released from the hospital on Tuesday and was by his wife's side when she died.
"We lost a beautiful and loving wife, daughter and friend," Jamie Hahn's family said in a statement. "We all lost a pure and brave spirit. She had a gift for bringing us together – black and white, young and old, gay and straight. She challenged us to work together for a better world."
Broyhill, police said, was being treated for self-inflicted injuries at WakeMed, where he was listed in good condition Wednesday.
Raleigh police have not released further details about the stabbings or a possible motive but have said that it is not "domestic-related."
People close to the case, however, said that Broyhill and the Hahns were getting ready for dinner Monday evening and that Broyhill attacked Jamie Hahn when her husband left the room for a few minutes. He heard screaming and returned to see Broyhill on top of his wife, stabbing her.
According to a 911 call made at 5:19 p.m., she ran from the house into the street, where neighbors called for assistance and tried to help her.
Nation Hahn, director of engagement at New Kind, a Raleigh public relations firm, left his wife's side briefly Tuesday evening for a prayer vigil at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh.
Her funeral is also planned at the church for 11 a.m. Saturday; a visitation is planned there Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
"I lost my best friend last night. The sadness is overwhelming," he said in messages from his Twitter account Wednesday morning. "I want to thank everyone for prayers for Jamie. That type of community spirit defined Jamie. I have no idea what I am going to do without Jamie. She was my center, my rock and my soul mate."
Both of the Hahns work in politics and are well-known figures in political circles in Raleigh.
Jamie Hahn ran Sky Blue Strategies, a firm focused on fundraising for nonprofit and political campaigns. Its clients include the North Carolina Democratic Party, the Wake County Democratic Party, Coalition to Protect All NC Families, Equality North Carolina, gubernatorial candidate Bob Etheridge and former Rep. Brad Miller, who represented North Carolina's 13th congressional district.
Broyhill, at one point, worked for Sky Blue Strategies and also worked on Miller's congressional campaign.
"I think that makes it harder to understand for everybody who knew Nation and Jamie," Miller said. "You couldn't really know Nation and Jamie without knowing Jon. They were together all the time."
Miller said he is speechless and devastated by Jamie Hahn's death.
"Jamie was smart, very likeable and very energetic. She knew everybody. She was involved in everything," he said. "I would see her at community events and realize that she wasn't there for any political reason but just because she supported the cause."
Micah Beasley, press secretary for the North Carolina Democratic Party, said the Hahns were "the quintessential couple working for a better North Carolina."
"We're mourning. We're shocked that such a young vibrant life was taken from us so soon," Beasley said.
Miller said Jamie Hahn was already making a mark on the state and that her death is not only a loss for those who knew her but for the people of North Carolina who will miss out on the contributions she would have made.
"I think the public cynicism about why some people are involved in politics is well founded," Miller said. "I think Jamie was always doing it for the right reasons. She was involved in politics and the community for the same reason. She wanted to make things better in the community, the state and the country."