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Police, workers react to Pentagon shooting

By Ed O'Keefe

Updated 6:33 p.m. ET
In the video above, commuters and police officials speak with The Washington Post the morning after two Pentagon police officers were wounded after being shot by a single assailant.

National Treasury Employees Union President Collen M. Kelley said Thursday's incident reminds Washington of the need for "a united and conscious effort to condemn attacks against government workers."

"So long as we disrespect our public servants -- and so long as public figures fail to speak out against statements that condone acts of violence, and in fact speak in ways easily construed as being supportive of them -- we continue to run the risk of more and more incidents such as the one at the Pentagon and the particularly tragic event in Austin," Kelley said in a statement.

John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees noted that several Internet postings suggest Thursday's attack was fueled by anti-government sentiments.

“Yesterday we were reminded again of the danger federal law enforcement officers place themselves in order to protect our nation," Gage said in a statement. "We are grateful that while the officers did sustain injuries they are both expected to make full recoveries. We applaud their dedication and bravery.”

(Video above by Hamil Harris/The Washington Post)

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 5, 2010; 2:49 PM ET
Categories:  Video Report, Workplace Issues  
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Comments

Hospitals are more dangerous than anyplace I have personally experienced including two muggings , one in the District and one at Eisenhower Metro. There was a hospital shooting at CAMC Charleston (See Charleston Gazette and no I am not related to the woman who was apprehended). However I was held at gunpoint while visiting my grandmother at CAMC Charleston General Hospital before the reported incident occurred in front of witnesses and did not receive any cooperation despite the fact I reported the traumatizing experience immediately. At most hospitals in Virginia there are metal detectors at the front entrance, why has CAMC not required that all visitors enter the main entrance or sign in with patient at ER and installed metal detectors to date? They obviously don't want to address the security, safety or welfare of their patients in a manner which is obviously necessary. Why does WVa legislature not require of hospitals that all staff submit to drug and alcohol tests and enforce some simple and effective measures such as metal detectors and enforced sign in ?

Posted by: KathrynStewartMcDonald | March 5, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Every day we read stories of unhinged individuals with unfettered access to guns unleashing violence and terror against innocent citizens...just as the US Supreme Court prepares to interpret the Second Amendment as guaranteeing the individual right to bear arms. Certainly this "right" needs to be carefully and strictly regulated!!!

Posted by: olesonea | March 5, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Why single out violence against "government workers" as bad? Any violent attack is bad.

Posted by: targusowlkiln | March 5, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

You say to leave my thoughts in the comments section. My thoughts are, thank goodness for all the vigilant guards who we may not always take the time to greet, thank, and appreciate here in Washington.

Just as with the Capitol Hill police officers who died defending the Capitol some years ago, the guard at the Holocaust Museum who died and those who lived and stopped his killer, and, far away from here, the Fort Hood police officers who finally took down that shooter, these two Pentagon policeman, each wounded but each still focused on stopping the intruder, were heroes, pure and simple.

I have read much too much about the idiot or deranged man who attacked the Pentagon and I certainly hope the Post plans to do more reporting about both of them. I'm glad they were recognized by their own force today but I don't see much details here and I'd like to see at least an interview or quote from them. They are the "Captain Sullenbergers" of this near-miss.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | March 5, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

"targusowlkiln" asks: Why single out violence against "government workers" as bad? Any violent attack is bad.
-------
Two reasons. The two men who were actually shot and wounded are Pentagon policemen -- the face of the federal government and the nation's military, at that place and time. They were not attacked because the man had been dating one of their relatives or wanted to steal their wallets, or anything normally criminal. They were attacked because to him, they represented the government. An attack on the federal government, created and controlled by our freely elected representatives and funded by our money, is an attack on our nation and on all of us.

Second, of course, I think we can all agree the man intended to do much more than superficially wound two people. He wanted to attack the Pentagon and its occupants, just like that plane (that he moronically didn't believe in) on September 11, 2001. If the police officers had not stood their ground, despite being shot, who knows how many innocent lives he would have taken.

Your implication that this is the general equivalent of a bar fight where a couple of people get roughed up is off the mark. Yes, you are right that that would be a violent incident, too, but its significance, as well as the potential death toll averted, would be entirely different.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | March 5, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Another mother's point of view. I'm sorry that son life was taken, but I'm grateful that God had mercy on the officers. It's really sadden my heart to know that my son's life could have been taken away from him. My son is an law enforce agent at the Pentagon and I was grateful that it wasn't him. We truly need to pray for our nation. I am still thanking God for allowing my son to return home safe from Bagdad, now this? That's my baby boy, defending and protecting us. A grateful mother, who will continue to pray for all.

Posted by: Doughtyp | March 6, 2010 3:12 AM | Report abuse

The venom of the anti-government attackers can not be ignored. It is especially disturbing when such fervor is supported by talking-heads repeatedly on cable television. Responsible voices should think twice before engaging in rants for ratings while ignoring the impact on persons who are not stable.
Ted L. Loda
Evanston Illinois

Posted by: TedL04 | March 8, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

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