A lone gunman shot and wounded two active duty Navy sailors on Tuesday, before driving onto a Frederick, Maryland military base, where he was gunned down by the base police force.
Two active duty US Navy sailors are suffering from gunshot wounds after a fellow sailor opened fire on them at a military warehouse in Frederick, Maryland on Tuesday. Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet, 38, shot the two men, then drove to Fort Detrick, a military base about a five minute drive from the warehouse, where he was ultimately gunned down by civilian military police on base. An eyewitness, who preferred to remain anonymous, told FBA that Woldesenbet, who was assigned to Fort Detrick and worked on base, had never shown any signs of being distressed before, and said many at the base were shocked to learn he was the gunman.
At about 8:20am on Tuesday morning, according to local authorities, police responded to a report of shots fired at a warehouse in Riverside Tech Park, a warehouse park approximately 4 miles from Fort Detrick. The warehouse is used to store supplies for the US Navy, and is rented by Naval Medical Research Center, Biological Defense Research Directorate to store research supplies and equipment often utilized at Fort Detrick, where much of the US military’s biological and disease research takes place. After being shot, one of the victims, Casey Nutt, 26, walked into a nearby Nickolock Paving Stones business covered in blood to seek help after Woldesenbet shot and then pursued him as Nutt ducked behind parked cars to escape the bullets.
Surveillance video shows Nutt hiding from Woldesenbet as the gunman pulls a dangerous U-turn in the middle of a road in order to chase after Nutt. Employees of Nickolock told reporters they hid Nutt in the bathroom and locked all the doors. The second victim, Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Carlos Portugal, 36, was pulled inside the Navy warehouse by workers in the industrial park. After idling in the parking lot outside Nicolock for about one minute, according to Garett Wagner, owner of the Nicolock location where Nutt went after being shot, Woldesenbet then “peeled out”, and drove to Fort Detrick.
Wagner told officials the gunman clearly “wanted this young man dead” based on what he saw. Both victims were flown to Baltimore Shock Trauma Center. As the gunman drove from the first crime scene to Fort Detrick, police warned officials at the base that a black Nissan sedan would likely be approaching at a high rate of speed. When Woldesenbet pulled up to the security checkpoint and officials attempted to search his vehicle, he sped through the checkpoint, jumping a median and drove about a half mile onto the base, according to the eyewitness at Fort Detrick.
The gunman appeared to be headed toward another security checkpoint, which he routinely goes through as part of his job, but extra barriers had been put up in advance of his arrival and armed military police at the checkpoint caused him to turn right instead, into a dead end that forced him to stop the vehicle. Civilian military police surrounded the vehicle, and when Woldesenbet pulled out a weapon the officers gunned him down. Frederick County Police and the FBI, in coordination with the US Navy, are still investigating the motive behind the shooting, but as yet have not publicly mentioned any findings.
Woldesenbet’s wife, who does not speak English, told police she “had no idea” why her husband had shot his colleagues. Portugal remains in critical condition at Baltimore Shock Trauma, while Nutt left the hospital on Tuesday night and is recovering from his wounds. The Navy has sent a “Special Psychiatric Rapid Intervention Team” to Fort Detrick to offer mental health services to anyone who lives or works on base affected by the shooting.
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ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE PRESS DEMOCRAT