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Shots fired at Marine Corps museum

Washington Post Editors

The National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle took a bit of battle damage over the weekend, as an unknown assailant shot at least five bullets into upper level windows, according to Prince William County police.

Members of a cleaning crew on Sunday first mistook the damage to the building’s glass windows as bird droppings. Upon closer inspection they discovered that they were bullet holes, said Officer Jonathan Perok, a police spokesman.

Police arrived at 3:22 p.m. on Sunday and confirmed that someone had shot at the building.

The holes were very high up on the part of the building that faces Interstate 95 on the eastern end of Prince William County, police said. Police believe the shots were fired sometime overnight between Saturday and Sunday, causing about $20,000 of damage to the windows. No one was inside the building when the shots were fired.

Police used a crane Monday to reach the holes for further inspection, and they are working to determine what caliber bullet was used. Because of the height of the holes and the damage, police suspect the bullets were likely fired from a rifle.

The museum, located next to Marine Corps Base Quantico, can be seen from Interstate 95 and has a unique shape inspired by the Iwo Jima Memorial. The museum opened in November 2006 and has had nearly 2 million visitors, according to the museum’s website.

-- Josh White

By Washington Post Editors  | October 18, 2010; 5:22 PM ET
Categories:  Josh White, Pr. William  
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wow. you really hope that was just a freak accident. at least nobody got hurt.

Posted by: danacruikshank | October 18, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Gunny, my rifle accidentally went off. I swear!

Posted by: veloboldie | October 18, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

It was only a matter of time before this happened. Lots of cretins in VA carry guns... and lots of them get plowed on Saturday nights.

Posted by: nan_lynn | October 18, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

The structure overlooking 95 does look like a big target. I would suspect that this will not be the last occurrence of such a thing happening.

After all, the area down there is still "rural" and has a lot of gun owners running around down there.

In addition, I am sure that 95 itself, is used by more gun runners and drug traffickers up and down the East Coast than any of us care to know about.

Thank goodness no one was hurt.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | October 18, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The "rural" area down there has a population just a little less than Washington, DC. It's more "SUBURBAN" than "RURAL". And I don't see a lot of "gun owners" running around with rifles in their pockets. But it definitely could have been some drunk Dumfries redneck saying "Hey, Bubba, think I kin hit that bright shiny building?" It could just as easily been some Adams-Morgan cretin making a political statement at the "Fascist Warmonger Marines oppressing the poor downtrodden Taliban." One thing for certain, you don't crank off five rounds at a building by accident.

Posted by: poguemahone1 | October 19, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Are the "gun owners" you refer to the ones that are legally allowed to carry a weapon by permit? If so, they are law abiding citizens that are practicing their constitutional right to bear arms. I am one of those citizens, raised in the next county over, Stafford. I have never, nor would I ever consider shooting randomly at a building, structure, object, or person. I don't appreciate being categorized the same as someone who would do such a thing. Any legal gun owner had to have a background check and to carry one legally concealed, had to have a gun safety course as well. I also am a "redneck", or a "hillbilly" whatever you want to call it, most people who fall in to that category are extremely proud American's and would never, ever shoot at something like the Marine Corp Museum, these men and woman gave their lives for us to have our freedom. Whoever did this is an anti-American coward. Why would anyone shoot a Marine Corp Museum when our Nation is at war? It doesn’t matter if you believe in the war or not, but you should support our troops!

Posted by: mel0one | October 19, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

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