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Navy corpsman shot, wounded 2 people before he was shot and killed at MD Army base, authorities say

Police car lights (Wikimedia/Matty Ring)
April 06, 2021

At about 8:30 a.m. EST on Tuesday a suspect, identified as a Navy hospital corpsman assigned to Fort Detrick Army Garrison in Maryland, shot and injured two people at a local business before he drove onto the base and was shot and killed by military personnel.

UPDATE – 2:40 p.m. EST – Frederick Police Chief Jason Lando identified the suspect as Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet, 38, who was an active-duty U.S. Navy E4 (Petty Officer Third Class). Lando said Woldesenbet used a rifle during the shooting, but he did not identify the type of rifle or caliber used.

Lando said one victim was in critical condition at Baltimore Shock Trauma hospital, while the second victim was being treated but expected to be released from the hospital on Wednesday.

Brig. Gen. Michael J. Talley identified the shooting victims as Navy sailors.

Talley said Woldesenbet was stopped at the Fort Detrick gate, but then sped through the gate and was immediately pursued by security personnel with Fort Detrick’s Quick Reaction Force. Woldesenbet made it about half a mile into the base before he was stopped. Once stopped in a parking lot, Woldesenbet brandished a weapon before security personnel neutralized him.

Talley said no other injuries or casualties were reported on the base during the incident.

Talley said investigators are still working to determine a motive behind the shooting.

The Frederick Police Department said they responded to a report of an active shooter at the 8400 Block of Progress Drive, where they found two people with life-threatening injuries, which they transported to a nearby shock trauma center. After the shooting at the business, the suspect reportedly drove for about 10 minutes, breaching the base’s Nalin Pond gate where he was neutralized.

The official Fort Detrick Facebook page reported medical lifesaving procedures were initiated but the gunman was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Associated Press reported Navy officials identified the shooter as a hospital corpsman assigned to Fort Detrick.

Fort Detrick spokeswoman Lanessa Hill told reporters the gunman drove through the base gate before base personnel confronted him on a road.

“It wasn’t that long before he came through the gate. Not even a quarter of a mile,” Hill said. She said Frederick Police alerted the base “so we knew that he was out there.”

Reporter Mike Valerio tweeted, “ALL CLEAR sounded at Fort Detrick, Maryland, after AM shooting incident in Frederick. Frederick Police Chief, Jason Lando, will provide an update on today’s shooting at 10:30AM. The update will be streamed live on the FPD’s Facebook page @WUSA9#breaking.”

Fort Detrick and local law enforcement were investigating the shooting incident.

Gov. Larry Hogan has been briefed on the situation, his office told USA Today.

Fort Detrick is home to the Department of Defense’s biological defense laboratory and some other federal civilian biodefense laboratories.

Frederick Police Chief Jason Lando called the incident “very tragic” and said, “It’s happening too frequently. Every time we turn on the TV we’re seeing something like this happening. And now it’s happening in our backyards.”

The incident comes just days after a man rammed a car into a barrier at the U.S. Capitol complex in Washington D.C., killing one Capitol police officer and wounding another. The driver reportedly got out of the car with a knife before he was shot and killed.

About a week before the attack at the U.S. Capitol, a gunman attacked a supermarket in Boulder, Colo., killing 10 before surrendering to police.