Reward in military shootings
With little evidence to go on, the FBI is now offering a $20,000 reward to anyone who can identify the unknown person who shot at military buildings in Northern Virginia five times between Oct. 16 and Nov. 2.
The mystery shooter (or shooters) has been dormant after the Nov. 2 shooting of a U.S. Coast Guard recruiting facility in Triangle.
Like the previous shootings, bullets were fired at the outside of the building sometime overnight, when it would be unlikely anyone would have been inside. No one has been injured in the shootings.
Though there have been five shootings -- twice at the National Museum of the Marine Corps near Quantico, once at the south side of the Pentagon, once at a vacant Marine Corps recruiting station in Chantilly, and at the Coast Guard recruiting station -- authorities have said only that they have linked them via ballistics tests. Those tests show that the same weapon fired all of the shots, but authorities have said they do not know why the shootings have occurred and have indicated there has been no communication with a possible shooter.
During the two-week spree, the FBI indicated that it was possible the person had ties to the Marine Corps and offered to settle any grievance the shooter had, if he or she were to come forward. Police have asked for help from the public in identifying possible shooters.
Investigators with the FBI, Fairfax County police, Prince William County police and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency announced the reward on Monday in the hope that someone will lead them to the right person and perhaps an explanation for the shootings.
"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," John G. Perren, acting assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office, said in a news release. "We are confident that someone out there has additional information that will be helpful to this investigation."
Investigators ask that people think about any unusual behavior their loved ones, friends or colleagues might have exhibited in recent weeks, especially if they have had to provide an explanation or excuse for being out during overnight or early morning hours, when the shootings have occurred.
The FBI believes that the shooter has a familiarity with the Northern Virginia area from living or working nearby -- three of the shootings were immediately next to Interstates 95 and 395 -- and that the shooter might have "experienced a significant personal crisis within the past several months, such as the loss of [a] job, divorce or financial hardship," according to a statement released Monday morning.
Anyone with information can contact the FBI at 202-278-2000 or via e-mail at WashingtonField@ic.fbi.gov.
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