An armed man apparently planning to enter the Pentagon walked
impassively up to police officers guarding the doors of the massive
building and opened fire early Thursday evening, wounding two
officers before he was shot.
Multiple media sources have confirmed the man is from
An armed man apparently planning to enter the Pentagon walked impassively up to police officers guarding the doors of the massive building and opened fire early Thursday evening, wounding two officers before he was shot.
Multiple media sources have confirmed the man is from Hollister.
Local sources said John Patrick Bedell was identified earlier today by the Associated Press as the shooter is the son of Kaye Bedell, the director of allied health at Gavilan College, and his father is John Bedell, Sr., a local financial planner. Local and media sources have confirmed the suspected gunman is from Hollister.
The gunfight took place just yards from the entrance to the giant defense installation as workers were still heading home for the evening, police said. Workers were ordered back to their offices and the building was locked down for a period of time, with no one allowed in or out.
“He walked up, very cool. He had no distress, no emotion in his face,” said Richard S. Keevill, chief of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, the civilian police agency that guards the five-sided building. “When he reached in his pocket, they assumed he was going to get his (building) pass out. He came out with a gun.”
The gunman began firing, hitting the two officers, who then fired back at the shooter. Both officers were taken to George Washington University hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The gunman was listed in critical condition.
The area just outside the Pentagon is heavily trafficked by commuters, serving as a transit hub both for the Washington Metro railway system and many of the region’s buses. The Metro station is one of the busiest in the Washington-area system, with thousands of commuters passing through, transferring from trains to buses.
The Metro entrance is just outside the doors of the Pentagon, meaning anyone can approach the building from the Metro. A force of officers guards the entrance during working hours and people who work inside must flash a badge before entering. Those without badges are ushered to a metal detector to be searched, then are escorted inside.
Officials did not identify the man or specify motives, although he was identified by the AP as 36-year-old John Patrick Bedell.
The Associated Press said investigators were considering the possibility that a second suspect was involved.
Officials refused to speculate on the gunman’s motives. “We just do not have enough information on the suspect to make those determinations this evening,” said Bryan G. Whitman, the Pentagon spokesman.
However, Whitman agreed with Keevill that the gunman was trying to get inside the building.
“He was obviously trying to gain entrance,” said Whitman.
Police said no words were exchanged between the gunman and the officers before shots began flying, sending commuters screaming and scrambling for cover, witnesses told local television news stations.
Keevill said the officers were wearing protective vests. He said he could not say whether the gunman also was wearing a vest and would not describe the assailant’s clothing. Keevill would not say whether the man was a Defense Department employee. Police said a third officer was involved in the incident, but did not say in what way.
In 2005, a Pentagon police officer, James M. Feltis III, became the only officer to die in the line of duty when he was struck by a stolen car driven by a man who was fleeing police. No Pentagon police officers were killed in the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon.
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