Navy medic who shot 2 was assigned to medical research center

A police officer stands behind police tape outside the apartment of Navy Petty Ofc. 3rd Class Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet, assigned to Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., Tuesday, April 6, 2021. Authorities say the Navy medic shot and wounded two U.S. sailors at a military facility before fleeing to a nearby Army base where security forces shot and killed him. Photo: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster. A police officer stands behind police tape outside the apartment of Navy Petty Ofc. 3rd Class Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet, assigned to Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., Tuesday, April 6, 2021. Authorities say the Navy medic shot and wounded two U.S. sailors at a military facility before fleeing to a nearby Army base where security forces shot and killed him.

Associated Press
Created: April 07, 2021 10:47 AM

A Navy medic who shot and wounded two U.S. sailors before he was killed by police on a nearby Army base was assigned to a Naval medical research center in Maryland for nearly two years, according to his service record.

Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet, 38, and the two men he shot were all assigned to Fort Detrick in Frederick, authorities said after Tuesday's shootings.

Woldesenbet's service record says he enlisted in September 2012 and most recently reported to the Naval Medical Research Center in Frederick in August 2019. In between, he served at military facilities in San Antonio, Texas; Camp Lejeune in North Carolina; Corpus Christi, Texas; Bremerton, Washington; and Portsmouth, Virginia.

Woldesenbet was awarded a Good Conduct Medal, a National Defense Service Medal and a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, his record shows. It lists his rank as Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class.

Authorities: Navy medic shoots 2, is shot and killed on base

One of the wounded sailors was released from a Baltimore hospital on Tuesday afternoon, while the other was in critical condition, military officials said on the Navy's Twitter account.

The Navy says it is sending a "Special Psychiatric Rapid Intervention Team" to Fort Detrick to offer mental health services to people on the base.

Authorities haven't disclosed a possible motive for the shooting, which took place at a warehouse rented by the Naval Medical Research Center, Biological Defense Research Directorate to store research supplies and equipment. The facility is located in the Riverside Tech Park, an office park several miles from the base.

“We’re still trying to sort through stacks of paper ... to figure out exactly what the motive would be,” Frederick Police Lt. Andrew Alcorn said Tuesday.

Woldesenbet shot the sailors with a rifle. He then drove to the base, where gate guards who had been given advance notice told him to pull over for a search, said Brig. Gen. Michael Talley. But Woldesenbet immediately sped off, making it about a half-mile into the installation before he was stopped at a parking lot by the base’s police force. When he pulled out a weapon, the police shot and killed him, Talley said.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Talley declined to identify the facility where the initial shooting occurred more specifically or describe the work that is done there.

Fort Detrick is home to the military’s flagship biological defense laboratory and several federal civilian biodefense labs. About 10,000 military personnel and civilians work on the base, which encompasses about 1,300 acres (526 hectares) in the city of Frederick.

Woldesenbet lived at an apartment building in Frederick, a few miles from the site of the shooting. Police cordoned off the apartment on Tuesday afternoon and a neighbor reported seeing officials escorting his wife and children from the building.


(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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