Entries in Military Shootings (3)


Pentagon Scare Suspect Linked to DC-Area Military Shootings

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The man blamed for triggering a terror scare at the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery last Friday has been linked to a series of shootings that targeted military locations in the Washington, D.C., area last fall.

Preliminary forensic evidence appears to tie Yonathan Melaku to at least one or two of the five shootings, ABC News has learned. But the forensics, which sources say are ballistics evidence, remain incomplete.

The shootings last fall targeted the Pentagon, the National Museum of the Marine Corps twice, a Marine Corps recruiting center and a Coast Guard facility in Virginia.

At the time, the FBI said it suspected the shooter was a disgruntled military man. Melaku is a Marine reservist.

"We believe this suspect has a grievance surrounding the U.S. Marine Corps," John Perren, then the acting assistant director of the FBI's Washington field office, said of the shooter in October 2010. "We'd like to know what this grievance is and what we can do to try to help solve it."

The military shootings began Oct. 17, 2010, at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, when someone fired at least 10 bullets into the building's ceiling.

Two days later, six or seven shots were fired at the Pentagon, shattering windows.

Then, on Oct. 26, shots were fired at a Marine Corps recruiting center in Chantilly, Va.

The shooter struck a second time at the Marine Corps museum on Oct. 30, then hit a Coast Guard recruiting station in early November.

All the incidents occurred in the middle of the night and nobody was injured. The shots appeared to target buildings, not people, and nobody has been charged with the shootings.

Melaku, a 22-year-old Ethiopian native, was arrested in the early-morning hours Friday in Arlington National Cemetery after he ran from a police officer on patrol. Police found three shell cartridges and baggies containing a substance that appeared to be an explosive in his backpack.

Authorities feared he may have been targeting the Pentagon and the nearby Marine Iwo Jima Memorial. The resulting investigation shut down traffic around the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery for hours Friday morning, snarling morning rush-hour traffic.

Spokespeople for the FBI Washington field office and U.S. Attorney's Office said the investigation is ongoing investigation and would not comment further.

Melaku is jailed in Loudoun County, Va., on theft charges related to auto break-ins in Leesburg, Va., earlier this year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


FBI Increases Reward in DC Military Shootings

FBI Washington Field Office. Photo Courtesy - FBI dot gov(WASHINGTON) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation Monday announced an increased reward of up to $20,000 for anyone who can provide information that will lead investigators to the "identification, arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for shootings at five military-related installations in Northern Virginia."

All five shootings, which occurred at military facilities during the late night or early morning hours of Oct. 16 to Oct. 17, Oct. 19, Oct. 25 to 26, Oct. 28 to 29 and Nov. 1 to 2, have been linked to a single weapon.

"We are following every lead that comes in and continue to call for the assistance of the public in helping us identify the person or persons responsible," said John G. Perren, acting assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office.

Prince William County posted the initial reward at just $1,000.  Now, the Justice Department has signed off on the recent increase "in support of the joint investigation" by the FBI, Fairfax County Police, Pentagon Force Protection Agency and Prince William County Police.

"We are confident that someone out there has additional information that will be helpful to this investigation,"  Perren added.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 


FBI: All 5 D.C. Area Military Shootings Linked

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The FBI's Washington Field Office confirmed Wednesday that all five military-related shootings in Northern Virginia -- at the Pentagon, the Marine Museum and two military recruiting stations -- have all been linked. 

Officials involved in the FBI investigation say they have determined that bullets from all five shootings appear to have been fired from the same weapon, according to ballistics results from the FBI Laboratory at Quantico.

Investigators on the case speculated Tuesday morning that recent media attention may have caused copycats to emerge.  However, after Wednesday's ballistics results, the search for suspects continues to narrow.

No one has been injured in any of the five incidents.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio