Officials ID Navy Corpsman Who Shot 2 Sailors Before Being Killed by Police

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Members of the Frederick Police Department Special Response Team Fort Detrick
Members of the Frederick Police Department Special Response Team prepare to enter Fort Detrick following a shooting in the Riverside Tech Park,April 6, 2021, in northeast Frederick, Md.. (Graham Cullen/The Frederick News-Post via AP)

A Fort Detrick police quick reaction force shot dead a Navy corpsman Tuesday morning when he brandished a weapon after penetrating security at the Maryland Army base.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet, 38, shot two Navy sailors with a rifle shortly after 8 a.m. at Riverside Technology Park in Frederick, Maryland, which is 50 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., Frederick Police Chief Jason Lando told reporters at a press conference.

"I can confirm to you that a rifle was used; I can't give you any more information on the weapon right now as to the caliber or anything like that," he said.

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Both victims were transported by helicopter to a Baltimore trauma center, where one remains in critical condition, Lando said. The second victim "very thankfully" is being treated and is expected to be released Wednesday, he added.

Police would not release any more information on the victims except to say their families are with them now.

Lando said that the shooting took place at an institution located in the tech park that is "tied to the Navy," but no other details were released.

After the shooting, Woldesenbet drove to Detrick, which is about 10 minutes away, where he was initially stopped by police at the gate.

"He was stopped at the gate and, before he was able to be searched, he sped past the gate and made it about a half mile into the installation," Brig. Gen. Michael Talley, commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command and Fort Detrick, told reporters. "He was pursued immediately by the Fort Detrick [police] quick reaction force. They were able to stop him in a parking lot."

Woldesenbet got out of his vehicle and "brandished a weapon, and our police department was able to neutralize the subject," Talley said.

Police tried to administer lifesaving procedures for about 20 minutes, but the gunman died at the scene, he added.

Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, are combing the scene for details, said Talley, who would not comment on Woldesenbet's possible motives.

"Right now, we don't want to compromise any part of the investigation," he said. "We are still investigating the motive and investigating the exact circumstances."

Fort Detrick had been in the process of conducting training to prepare for an exercise involving a similar scenario that was scheduled for next week, Talley said.

"The training and certainly the procedures that we took on the base while all this was going on kicked in at the right time," he said. "We were about as well prepared for it as we could be."

Over the next several days, Fort Detrick will examine how Woldesenbet was able to maneuver his car past the automatic barrier system, Talley said.

"We are going to absolutely uncover what happened, why it happened and if there is a need to put in additional control measures, we absolutely will," he added.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@miliary.com.

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