Northern Virginia military shootings

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Two episodes shot at the glass spire of the Marine Museum.

The Northern Virginia military shootings were several attacks by a man shooting a rifle at empty military buildings. The shots were fired in October and November 2010. Experts looked at the bullets left at the various places. They could see that all of the shots were from the same rifle.[1]

Incidents[change | change source]

The first shooting was aimed at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia on October 16, 2010. Some bullets from a high-velocity rifle went through the atrium skylight. The second shooting happened on October 19, 2010 shortly before 5 a.m. Someone shot at the south side of The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The bullets broke windows on the third and fourth floors. Special glass stopped the bullets from entering the building. The offices behind those windows were empty because of repairs. The Pentagon Reservation was temporarily closed because the police searched the area for evidence. The building was reopened about 5:40 a.m. The Joint Terrorism Task Force is leading the investigation into the incident.[2] In the third shooting, the same rifle shot the Marine Corps Museum again on October 29.[3] The same rifle was used to attack a Marine Corps recruiting center in Chantilly, Virginia on October 26.[4][5]

The second shooting aimed at the Pentagon from I-395.

These attacks made the organizers of the October 31, 2010 Marine Corps Marathon upgrade the safety measures. The race was run without problems.[6][7] On November 3, police announced that the same rifle was used to shoot at a United States Coast Guard recruiting center in Woodbridge, Virginia on late November 1 or early November 2.[1]

Suspect[change | change source]

The person behind the attacks remained unknown until June 17, 2011 when Yonathan Melaku was arrested. He is a 22 year old naturalized Ethiopian immigrant and Marine Corps Reserve Lance Corporal.[8] He was found at Arlington National Cemetery while it was closed.[9][10] He was carrying spent shell casings, a notebook containing references to the Taliban and Osama bin Laden, and plastic bags filled with ammonium nitrate, a common component of homemade explosives.[9] He also left his car parked in the woods near the Pentagon, police said. He had also been recently charged with breaking into 27 cars in suburban Washington.[11] The investigation of the incident connected Melaku to the shootings. On June 23, 2011, he was charged with two counts of willfully injuring the property of the United States. If he is convicted of those charges, he could go to prison for 20 years. Melaku is also charged with two counts of using a firearm during a violent crime. If he is convicted of those charges, he could go to prison for the rest of his life. More charges are possible.[9]

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is working with the Fairfax County Police, the Prince William County police and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency to investigate the case.[7]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Maria Glod and Josh White (November 4, 2010). "Authorities link shooting at Coast Guard center to 4 others". Washington Post. p. B1.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  2. Christy Goodman and Maria Glod (October 20, 2010). "Gunman sought in Pentagon shooting". Washington Post. p. B1.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  3. Sorcher, Sara (October 29, 2010). "Authorities report another shooting at Marine Corps museum". National Journal. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
  4. "Chantilly Shooting Linked to Pentagon, Marine Museum". NBC News4. October 28, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
  5. Josh White and Maria Clod (October 29, 2010). "Recuriting station shots linked to 2 incidents". Washington Post. p. B10.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  6. "Linked Shootings Prompt Marine Corps Marathon Security Concerns". NBC News4. October 29, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Maria Glod and Kafia Hosh (October 30, 2010). "FBI: Shooter could be a Marine". Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-11-04.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  8. Josh White and Allison Klein (June 24, 2011). "Suspect in shootings eluded detection". Washington Post. p. A1. Retrieved August 1, 2011.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Pentagon suspect charged with shooting at military buildings". WTOP. June 23, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  10. Jerry Markon and Mary Pat Flaherty (June 23, 2011). "Marine Reservist linked to shootings". Washington Post. p. B1. Retrieved August 1, 2011.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  11. Olivia Katrandjian (June 18, 2011). "Pentagon Bomb Scare: Is the Suspect a Lone-Wolf Terrorist?". abc News. Retrieved 2011-06-23.