A U.S. sailor who shot two other service members Tuesday morning before breaching a Maryland Army base and being killed by police has been identified as Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Fantahun G. Woldesenbet.
Woldesenbet, 38, shot two sailors sometime after 8 a.m. at an off-base “military institution” at the Riverside Tech Park in the 8400 block of Progress Drive in Frederick, Maryland, according to Frederick Police Chief Jason Lando, speaking at an afternoon press conference.
Police were called to the scene at about 8:20 a.m.
One of the sailors remains in critical condition at a Baltimore hospital, while the other is expected to be released tomorrow, Lando said.
Woldesenbet used a rifle in the shooting, officials said, although it remained unclear as of Tuesday afternoon whether it was a service-issued weapon.
After the shooting, Woldesenbet drove to nearby Fort Detrick, where guards recognized his car from a police alert and attempted to get him to stop for a search at the gate at about 8:45 a.m., the base’s commander, Army Brig. Gen. Michael Talley, said at the press conference.
But Woldesenbet sped away and made it about half a mile onto base, Talley said.
He then brandished a rifle at police and was fatally shot, Talley said, adding that Woldesenbet was on the base for roughly four minutes.
The Frederick Police Department is being assisted in this investigation by the FBI and Naval Criminal Investigative Service, according to Lando.
His motives and any connection to the victims remain under investigation, Talley said, and Fort Detrick is offering mental health resources “for all of those who may have been touched by this,” Talley said.
Even before the incident, the base was preparing to hold an active shooter exercise next week, he said.
“In light of what’s happened across the country (with mass shootings), we were all about as well-prepared as we could,” Talley said.
The small base sits northwest of Washington, D.C., and is home to U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command and other units.
Woldesenbet reported to the Naval Medical Research Center in Frederick in August 2019, according to service records.
The center operates a biological defense research directorate at Fort Detrick.
He enlisted in 2012 and attained his current rank in 2017.
Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.