Witness heard "a flurry of pops" outside Pentagon
The latest news on the shooting at the Pentagon:
Witness heard "a flurry of pops" outside Pentagon
Buzz Hawley, 40, a lawyer from Fairfax, was waiting for a bus outside the Pentagon when the shooting broke out Thursday night about 30 yards away.
“We just heard this flurry of pops -- about ten to fifteen,” he said in a telephone interview Friday.
“Everybody just sort of stood there. We didn’t know what to make of it. You’d think we’d have headed for cover. A woman next to me said, ‘Gosh, were sitting ducks standing here.’”
“It was a lot of pops,” he said. “It went on for a good seven seconds. Rapid fire. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. It just kept going.”
Afterward, he said, police directed bystanders to safety.
-- Michael E. Ruane
Excerpts from a news release issued by the Irvine Police Department's arrest of John Patrick Bedell in June 2006.
On June 2, 2006, Irvine Police Officers responded to an apartment at 238 Amherst Aisle within the City of Irvine. Officers were called to this address due to neighbor complaints about marijuana plants being grown on the balcony of an apartment. Responding officers could plainly see marijuana plants on the balcony. Based on this information, Detectives obtained a Search Warrant for the apartment which was served on June 6, 2006.
John Bedell was present when the Warrant was served and he was the only resident of the apartment. Inside the apartment, Detectives found a marijuana growing operation which included artificial lighting, irrigation systems and other components used for the cultivation of marijuana. Detectives seized this equipment along with 16 marijuana plants.
John Bedell was not cooperative with officers during this encounter and refused to speak with them other than providing basic identification information. In addition, during the arrest procedure Bedell refused to walk with the police officers and had to be carried down the apartment stairs and to a patrol car.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges for cultivation of marijuana and resisting/delaying police officers. On August 10, 2006, John Bedell pled guilty to the charges.
Bedell believed U.S. controlled by sinister forces
John Patrick Bedell believed that the United States was controlled by a sinister organization leading it toward a new dark age, according to friends and Internet postings attributed to him.
His parents warned authorities their son was upset, and might have gun, a source told the Associated Press.
Bedell left behind numerous written, video and audio manifestos on the Internet. In one he suggested that the U.S. was infiltrated by a cabal of gangsters called the “coup regime” after the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He believed the was probably behind such things as the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the Iraq war, and continued to manipulate the country “up to the present day.”
Update: 2:50 p.m.
The Hollister Free Lance reports that the family of John Patrick Bedell has released this statement:
"We are devastated as a family by the news from yesterday. To the outside world, this tragedy is the first and only thing they will know of Patrick. To us, he was a beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew, and cousin. We may never know why he made this terrible decision. One thing is clear though - his actions were caused by an illness and not a defective character. We wish for the speedy and complete recovery of the two officers involved. The family asks that you respect their privacy in this terrible time."
Update: 2:30 p.m.
The parents of suspected Pentagon gunman John Patrick Bedellsaid they were concerned about their son's "mental health status" when they filed a missing person's report on him with the San Benito County Sheriff's Department on Jan. 4, said Sheriff Curtis Hill.
The report was filed after Bedell had been stopped Jan. 3 for speeding near Amarillo, Texas, and was agitated but not "in distress.'' Hill said the officer took Patrick's cell phone and called his parents to say he had stopped him," said Hill, who knows the Bedell famiily. "Whatever he said was off, but there was not enough to detain him on a temporary mental hold there."
Bedell, 36, returned to Hollister a few days later, Hill said.
The family had not been in touch with Bedell "for several weeks" but told Hill that Bedell had been working in San Jose and feared that if their son lost his job or was about to be fired for taking extended trips to the East Coast, ". . . he might act out on some of his mental health issues," Hill said. Bedell's employer was not listed in the missing person's report, said Hill who also said from information his office could access, Bedell did not have a record of a gun permit at that time.
In their report, his parents cited their concerns about their son's drug use and worry that he had issued a prescription for medical use of marijuana, Hill said.
-- Mary Pat Flaherty
Update: 2:00 p.m.
The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that Pentagon shooting suspect John Patrick Bedell was arrested and booked on a marijuana charge in Reno, Nevada.
Bedell drove across country and stopped at a motel in Reno, Nevada, law enforcement officials said. It was not immediately clear how long Bedell stayed in Reno, or if it was anything more than a stopover on his way to Washington, D.C.
Update: 1:30 p.m.
Suspect was shot in head, arm
New details are emerging about Thursday evening's shooting at the Pentagon. Officials say that John Patrick Bedell was shot in the head and left tricep during the exchange and was transported to George Washington University Hospital where he died at approximately 10 p.m. EST
Officials say a third officer was also involved in the exchange of gunfire but that officer’s name is not being released at this time.
Authorities believe Bedell drove to Washington, DC in a 1998 green Toyota Avalon, which he parked in a garage at the Fashion Centre Pentagon City Mall. At the time of the shooting, Bedell, who has a full beard, was dressed in slacks, a white collared shirt and blazer.
Investigators continue to search the car, conduct interviews and review a video of the shooting in order to piece together a timeline of Bedell’s activities leading up the incident. They are also reviewing Bedell’s possible internet activity, his cell phone usage and other information which might assist in determining Bedell’s state of mind at the time of the shooting.
Anyone who believes he or she may have witnessed the shooting, or may have additional information, is urged to call the FBI at 202-278-2000.
Transcript from an online discussion about the Pentagon shootings.
The transcript from Post reporter Ann Scott Tyson's online chat about the latest development in the Pentagon shooting.
Rockville, Md.: Dear Ms. Tyson, The Internet comment boards (including that of the WP) have lit up with the debate about whether the shooter is "right-wing nut" or "left-wing nut." Those supporting the former view highlight the shooter's apparent leanings toward 9/11 conspiracy theories. Those supporting the latter view highlight, among others, the shooter's growing of marijuana and targeting of the Pentagon. In your opinion, is the determination of the shooter's ideological leanings important? Is it important for understanding the crime? Is it also politically significant? Thanks.
Ann Scott Tyson: While it may be simplistic to categorize the shooter either as "right-wing nut" or "left-wing nut," I do believe that his ideological leanings could help people understand his motives for carrying out the crime, if it can be demonstrated that his actions were linked to those political beliefs.
Update: 12:00 p.m.
Over the past several years in conversations with longtime friends of his family, J. Patrick Bedell spoke often and at great length about the social issues and attacks on personal liberty, particularly when it came to criminal penalties for marijuana use, but the man who opened fire Thursday evening at the Pentagon did not express hostility towards the military, said Reb Monaco, who has known Bedell since Bedell was a child.
Monaco, a friend of Bedell’s parents whose own children grew up in Hollister, Calif., with Bedell, said that the younger Bedell had recently been living with his parents in one of the on-again, off-again cycles in which the 36-year-old man returned home. But within the past month, Monaco said Bedell’s parents had filed a missing person report on their son when he said he was taking off on a car trip and dropped out of contact.
“He had gone off the deep end from what they told us last night” said Monaco, a retired teacher and supervisor in San Benito County in Central California. Monaco said he did not know what lawn enforcement agency had received the missing person report.
Monaco and his wife were with Bedells’ parents as they learned their son’s cross country trip had ended at the Pentagon where he shot and wounded two Pentagon Force Protection officers before being killed by a shot to his head. Bedell carried two semi-automatic weapons with him, and “many magazines” of extra ammunition in the car he left in a Pentagon parking garage, Pentagon police chief Richard S. Keevill said Friday morning.
-- Mary Pat Flaherty
Update: 11:30 a.m.
Federal law enforcement sources have identified the guns allegedly used by John Patrick Bedell in the shooting at the Pentagon Thursday evening. Sources say he allegedly used a Sturm 9mm and a Taurus 9mm. Investigators are tracing the origins of the weapons and checking to see whether Bedell had permits for them.
Police are looking at possible anti-government Internet postings by Bedell, said Pentagon Force Protection agency chief Richard S. Keevill. Authorities are still trying to establish his motive for the attack.
"There are no indications at this point that there are any international or domestic connections to this incident at all," Keevill said. "At this time it appears to be a single individual that had issues."
Update, 11:03 a.m.
A YouTube video of the alleged shooter has surfaced in which Bedell discusses "Information Currency," a scheme he says he invented "to create a financial market for information."
Also, view a felony complaint allegedly filed against Bedell for cannabis cultivation.
Update, 8:00 a.m.
Chris Layman, a spokesman for the the Pentagon Force Protection agency, confirms that the officers shot Thursday evening at the main entrance to the Pentagon are Jeffrey Amos and Marvin Carraway.
Both have been with the force for about a year
Update, 7:27 a.m.
-- Pentagon Force Protection agency chief Richard S. Keevill said officials have video surveillance of the Thursday evening shooting. John Patrick Bedell can be seen calmly walking toward the main entrance of the Pentagon before opening fire on two officers. At a news conference Friday morning, Keevill said Bedell did not appear to say anything, but he may have made some utterance shortly before the shooting.
-- WUSA 9 is identifying the officers shot as Jeff Amos and Marvin Carraway. Both have been treated for their wounds and released from the hospital, Keevill said.
Update, 6:44 a.m.
At a news conference Friday morning, Pentagon officials confirmed the identity of the man who calmly approached two police officers Thursday evening and opened fire.
John Patrick Bedell, 36, died overnight after shooting the two officers at the entrance to Pentagon. The officers -- one with a wound to the shoulder and the other with a wound to the thigh -- were treated and released overnight.
Richard S. Keevill, chief of the Pentagon Force Protection agency, said Bedell drove from California to the Washington area over the past several weeks. On Thursday, Bedell, dressed in a suit and carrying two 9-mm semi-automatic weapons and a large amount of ammunition, walked toward the main entrance to the Pentagon and opened fire on the officers. During an exchange of gun fire, Bedell was fatally wounded.
Keevill said officials found Keevill's in a nearby parking lot. The vehicle contained additional ammunition.
While the investigation is still continuing, authorities say they do not believe Bedell was connected to any terrorist plot.
Stay with the Post for the latest developments on this story.
Washington Post editors
| March 5, 2010; 6:45 PM ET
Categories: Crime and Public Safety, Virginia
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