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The truth about Pentagon shooter's last 'utterance': There wasn't one


In the days since Thursday’s shooting at the Pentagon, that word has hung in the air, leaving open a question about what John Patrick Bedell might have said as he fired on officers at a main security entrance.

In the hours immediately after the shooting, the chief of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency whose officers were wounded in an exchange that killed Bedell, said early inquiries and looks at surveillance video suggested Bedell may have made an “utterance” as he pulled out one of the two guns he was carrying.

On Internet postings, Bedell had delivered rambling manifestos that described a cabal of gangsters he insisted had infiltrated and manipulated the government and likely was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The family of Bedell, 36, of Hollister, Calif., had said he recently descended into paranoia that ended in an act that might never be understood.

“I can’t confirm what that utterance is because the person who knows that is now at home resting from a gunshot," Pentagon Force Chief Richard S. Keevill said during a Friday news conference.

Investigators have since spoken at length with the first officer to encounter Bedell -- Officer Marvin Carraway, 44, whom Bedell shot in the thigh. Bedell was five feet from Carraway and kept shooting as Carraway retreated behind a bulletproof barrier.

Carraway and Officer Colin Richards, 29, returned fire, and Officer Jeffrey Amos, 46, who been on patrol, ran to the scene and fired his submachine gun. Bedell came crashing down, the officers said.

Carraway told investigators that Bedell uttered not a word as he fired, Chris Layman, spokesman for the Pentagon force, told The Washington Post Tuesday.

Asked whether Bedell had spoken in his final minutes, Layman said that “in follow-on interviews with Officer Carraway, he stated that Bedell did not say a word.”

-- Mary Pat Flaherty

By Mary Pat Flaherty  |  March 10, 2010; 7:04 AM ET
Categories:  Mary Pat Flaherty , Police Shootings , Updates , Virginia  
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The media gets an F for its reporting of this case.

First of all, I can't count the number of times I read or heard "marijuana smoker." Most people in the media are smokers of mary jane, so they should know better.

This man was bi-polar and the pharma drugs he was on destroyed his brain. How does the pharma lobby infiltrate the media so well? It's truly sad.

Posted by: FiatBooks | March 10, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Would you please let this go? How much mileage do you think you can get with this stale story? Move on!

Posted by: curious606 | March 10, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

There's one question I haven't seen answered. How many bullets did the police fire? I've read hints that the answer is roughly "a lot." And was the overkill dangerous to bystanders?

Posted by: pundito | March 10, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse


If one of those officers was your brother or your father, how many bullets would have been too many? And, at that time of the evening, there were no bystanders. Even if there had been, do you suppose that Bedell posed at least as great a threat to them as your so-called "overkill?"

You are typical of civilians who have never seen a real exchange of gunfire and who grew up watching TV shows and movies where the hero cop takes out the bad guy with one carefully aimed shot. Sorry to disillusion you, but it doesn't work like that in real life.

Posted by: hisroc | March 10, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

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