- The Washington Times
Tuesday, April 6, 2021

A Navy medic shot two sailors Tuesday morning at a business park in Frederick, Maryland, then sped past a checkpoint at a nearby Army base he worked and was subsequently killed by police, authorities said.

Officials identified Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet, 38, as the suspected gunman. He reportedly lived in Frederick, where he worked as a hospital corpsman for the Navy at Fort Detrick. Both victims also are stationed there.


Frederick Police Chief Jason Lando said Tuesday afternoon during a press conference that Mr. Woldesenbet used a rifle during the shooting inside Riverside Tech Park. 

“In the tech park, there is a military institution there. It’s tied to the military, to the Navy, and that is where the shooting took place,” Chief Lando said.

Investigators are working to determine a motive for the shooting and whether the gunman had a connection to the victims.

One of the two victims was in critical condition, and the other was receiving treatment and was expected to be discharged on Wednesday, Chief Lando said.

Both initially had been reported to be in critical condition after being airlifted earlier in the day to a shock trauma center in Baltimore.

After the shooting, the suspect drove his personal vehicle to nearby Fort Detrick, police said. By then, police had alerted other authorities to “be on the lookout” for the gunman.

He was stopped at a gate checkpoint, according to Brig. Gen. Michael J. Talley, commanding officer of the Army Medical Research and Development Command and Fort Detrick.

“Before he was able to be searched, he sped past the gate, [and] made it about a half mile into the installation,” Gen. Talley said. “He was pursued immediately by the Fort Detrick quick reaction force. They were able to stop him in a parking lot. He then brandished a weapon and our police department was able to neutralize [him].”

There were no other injuries or casualties linked to the shooting, and the rifle was the only weapon found in the suspect’s car, authorities said.

“We were a week away from actually doing an exercise involving a similar scenario, and the training — certainly the procedures that we took on the base while all this was going on — kicked in at the right time,” the general said.

Fort Detrick is home to the military’s flagship biological defense laboratory and several federal civilian biodefense labs. About 10,000 military personnel and civilians work on the base, which encompasses about 1,300 acres in the city of Frederick.

The base is a huge economic driver in the region, drawing scientists, military personnel and their families.

Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor noted that various defense contractors are located near Fort Detrick and that it wouldn’t be unusual for a member of the military to be off base and working with a private firm that does business with the U.S. government.

Chief Lando said the shooting was “unfortunate” and “sad.”

“Every time you turn on the news, there’s something like this happening,” Chief Lando said. ”Today it happened in Frederick, a week or so ago it happened in Boulder, it seems like every day.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan published a Facebook post thanking law enforcement “for responding swiftly” to the incident.

“We are keeping the victims in our prayers and [Maryland State Police] will continue to assist in the investigation,” Mr. Hogan said.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.


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