Frederick – A naval medic shot and wounded two sailors at a Maryland military installation on Tuesday, then later fled to a nearby Army base where he was killed, police and U.S. Navy officials said.
Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet, a third class noncommissioned officer assigned to the Fort Detrick base, fired a rifle inside a Navy facility at the Riverside Tech shopping complex, causing people inside to flee, they said. Frederick and Fort Detrick city police officers at a press conference.
Authorities said they were still trying to determine the motive for the attack and whether the attacker knew the victims, two sailors assigned to Fort Detrick who were airlifted to a hospital.
Police said one of the victims was in critical but stable condition, and the other was in serious condition, but is expected to be discharged Wednesday.
After the shooting at the commercial park, the suspect drove to the base, where guards asked him to stop to be searched after being warned that he was heading there, Brigadier General Michael J. Talley said. But Woldesenbet started at full speed and drove about 800 meters (half a mile) into the facility. He was detained in a parking lot by the base police. When he pulled out a gun, police shot him and killed him, Talley added.
Talley said investigators will determine as much as they can, including why the suspect returned to base.
“I don’t know his mental state at the time, and we are certainly going to find out all of that,” he said.
The brigadier general noted that the facility where the shooting took place was not under his command. It declined to provide the identity of the facility or describe the work being done there.
Fort Detrick is home to the main military biological defense laboratory and several federal civilian biodefense laboratories. About 10,000 military personnel and civilians work at the base, which spans 1,300 acres (526 hectares) in the city of Frederick.
The base is a major economic engine in the region, attracting scientists, military personnel and their families. Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor noted that several defense contractors are located near Fort Detrick and it would not be unusual for a member of the military to be off base working with a private company doing business with the US government.