Two injured in shooting near Fort Detrick in Maryland, Navy suspect killed after entering military base: Officials

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(FREDERICK, Md.) — Two people were injured after a shooting near Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, on Tuesday morning.

Police were called for an active shooter situation at 8:20 a.m. in the Riverside Tech Park area, Frederick Police Chief Jason Lando said.

When officers arrived on scene they found two adult males injured. The victims were flown by helicopter to Baltimore, Lando said. One of the victims was released Tuesday afternoon, while the other remained in critical condition, the Navy said.

The 38-year-old suspect, who Navy Public Affairs confirmed was a Navy hospital corpsman, then traveled to nearby Fort Detrick and was subsequently shot and killed by base personnel, police said. The suspect had been stationed at Fort Detrick, base officials told ABC News.

Police identified the shooter as Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet.

Lando said that the suspect lives in Frederick, but not on the military base, and that he is an active member of the Navy.

Police said the suspect used a rifle to carry out the shooting, but would not identify what type of rifle or caliber.

The police chief said that one victim remains in critical condition, but the other is going to be released tomorrow.

The two sailors who were injured were hospital corpsmen and were coworkers with the shooter, according to Tommy Lamkin, a spokesman for the Naval Medical Research Center. All three worked at the Biological Defense Research Directorate that belongs to the Naval Medical Research Center. Lamkin would not speculate on the nature of the relationship between the suspect and the victims.

“The command’s main focus is on casualty assistance making sure that family members have the resources available for counseling,” Lamkin said. “As well as for the staff that was there and that was affected. The command is focused on letting the investigation happen.”

Authorities did not want to speculate on motive, because it was early in the investigation.

“We can’t tell at this points here. Again, that is still under investigation but that’s going to be one of the things that we piece together in the hours and days to come,” said Brigadier General Michael Talley, who is the commanding general at the base.

Lando also provided a bit more detail on the pursuit, saying it was about four minutes between the time the suspect entered the base to when he was neutralized. Police had issued a BOLO for his type of vehicle and he had been stopped for questioning at the main entrance. At that point Woldesenbet made his way around the guards and sped onto Fort Detrick, making it half a mile in before being cornered. He was then shot by the base’s quick reaction force and succumbed to his wounds after 20 minutes of efforts to save his life.

Brigadier Gen. Michael Talley, who is the commanding general at the base, said that everything was done “textbook.”

“And that certainly, ultimately, Probably prevented further, further injuries and further loss,” he said.

Talley said there were no other injuries on base other than the suspect.

Authorities said the timing of this incident is interesting because they were working up to full-scale active shooter training on the base next week.

“Our number one priority is the safety of our people,” said U.S. Army Garrison Fort Detrick Commander Col. Dexter Nunnally. “Our emergency responders are well trained for these types of situations and the fast response of our military police enabled us to contain this threat quickly.”

The police chief said it is a “very active scene” and did not want to comment on motive.

“The public is no longer at risk, everyone is safe. No officers were injured, and there were no other injuries to bystanders,” Lando said.

Fort Detrick and Frederick police are investigating the incident.

When Talley was asked by ABC News’ Rachel Scott if he had seen anything of this magnitude on Fort Detrick, the general said no.

“Yeah just unfortunate, that it did occur, but in light of what’s happened, you know certainly across the country,” Talley said. “We were about as well prepared for it as we could.”

The police chief also told ABC News that this is a regular occurrence in today’s day and age.

“Like I said this morning, every time you turn on the news, there’s something like this happening. Today it happened in Frederick, a week or so ago, it happened in Boulder, you know, it seems like every day so all we can do is, in a whether we’re in the military and civilian law enforcement is assess our ability to respond.”

 

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