Fourth shooting in Virginia targeting military facilities prompts FBI public appeal
Reporting from Washington
After a fourth shooting incident Thursday night involving military buildings in Northern Virginia, the FBI appealed to the public for help in locating a possibly disgruntled Marine before something “disastrous” happens.
Authorities announced on Friday that they believe the shooter who fired on the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Va. Thursday night may also be responsible for three other shootings targeting government buildings in recent weeks.
John Perren, acting assistant director of the FBI Washington field office, said investigators believe the shooter may be a current or former U.S. Marine with a grievance with the Corps. During a press conference outside FBI offices in downtown Washington, Perren urged the shooter to contact authorities.
Perren said he believes the shooter has intentionally avoided casualties by shooting at night and the shootings may be an attempt to relieve frustrations with the Corps.
“We do not believe there is an intention to harm innocent citizens or Marines,” Perren said. “Acting out in this way, however, can eventually lead to disastrous and tragic consequences that we all wish to avoid.”
“It may be that he feels he has been wronged by the Corps in his professional and/or personal life,” Perren said. “The subject of his grievance does appear to be the institution of the Marine Corps and not the individual men and women Marines for whom he may feel a great deal of respect, admiration and even loyalty.”
This is the second time the museum has been targeted this month. The building was closed when an unknown number of shots were fired at its west side, sometime between 9 p.m. Thursday night and 6 a.m. Friday morning EDT, according to Assistant Chief Mike Crosbie of the Prince William County Police. The rounds were fired from Interstate 95.
Authorities were still investigating the scene Friday morning.
The shooting comes one day after FBI ballistic tests confirmed that one weapon was used to shoot at the museum on Oct. 17, the Pentagon on Oct. 19 and a empty Marine Corps Recruiting station in Chantilly, Va., earlier this week. The FBI has not released the type of weapon used.