Military Base Shooting Suspect ID’d as Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet

April 7, 2021 Updated: April 7, 2021

The suspect in a shooting that left two U.S. Navy sailors injured was identified by officials as Navy medic Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet, officials said.

The shooting led to an active shooter emergency at a business park near Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, authorities said.

Woldesenbet, 38, shot the two sailors at “a military institution” at the Riverside Tech Park, officials said. After the incident, he fled the scene in his vehicle to Fort Detrick, where he was assigned, and was eventually shot and killed by military police after he brandished a gun, Brig. Gen. Michael J. Talley, the commander of the Army base, told reporters.

It’s not clear if Woldesenbet used his service weapon in the shooting. Talley said it was not likely the case, and officials said he used a rifle but did not elaborate.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Navy said that it was sending “our deepest condolences to all affected by this terrible act of violence and will continue to support the investigation.”

And on Tuesday night, the Navy wrote in an update: “One of the shooter’s two victims was released from the hospital this afternoon; while the other Sailor remains in critical condition.”

Talley told reporters that investigators are looking into whether Woldesenbet knew the two victims. Officials also did not disclose a motive for the shooting.

Active Shooter Maryland
Police talk near the scene of a shooting at a business park in Frederick, Md., on April 6, 2021. (Julio Cortez/AP Photo)

“We don’t want to compromise any aspect of the investigation,” he said.

Frederick Police Chief Jason Lando said that local schools were placed on lockdown, adding that there were two different crime scenes.

“When these incidents happen in other places, you’re always grateful that it’s not your community,” Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor said, according to news reports. “But you always know, perhaps in the back of your mind, that, that’s just luck—that there isn’t any reason why it couldn’t happen here. And today it did.”

The incident prompted Democratic members of Congress to call for gun-control laws.

“Americans are sick of breaking news alerts about deaths from gun violence,” said Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) in a statement just hours after the shooting. “Today, the Frederick community, including thousands of military personnel serving at Ft. Detrick, experienced the terrifying feeling of checking in on friends and family following news that gun violence had broken out in their community.”

Fort Detrick is located about 50 miles north-northwest from Washington. Fort Detrick is home to the military’s flagship biological defense laboratory and several federal civilian biodefense labs. About 10,000 military personnel and civilians work on the base, which encompasses about 1,300 acres in the city of Frederick.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.