Fort Detrick to determine if security needs to be reassessed after shooting

Military personnel at Fort Detrick will reevaluate whether security measures at the entrance of the base need to be reassessed to prevent incidents similar to Tuesday’s shooting of a Navy corpsman.

“We are going to absolutely uncover what happened and why it happened. And, if there is a need to put in additional control measures, we absolutely will,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Talley, commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command and Fort Detrick in Frederick County, Maryland.

During a Tuesday news conference, Talley said all procedures were followed at the Army base when Navy corpsman E-4 Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet, 38, came to Fort Detrick after shooting two sailors at a warehouse rented by Naval Medical Research Center in Riverside Tech Park 4 miles away.

Woldesenbet’s motive and connection to the victims is still under investigation. He was assigned to Fort Detrick and lived in Frederick City.

Talley said the facility where the shooting took place was not under his command and declined to describe the work that was done there.

The base had been alerted to watch for Woldesenbet’s personal vehicle after the Tuesday morning shootings.

“The subject was stopped at the gate. Before he was able to be searched, he sped past the gate, made it about a half mile into the installation. He was pursued immediately,” Talley said.

Talley said when Woldesenbet got out of his car with a rifle, base personnel shot him.

“It’s imperative that we’re prepared, as much as we can be, in the event something like this happens,” Talley said about future security breaches.

The base had been conducting training and was just days away from preparing for a similar scenario, he said.

“The procedures that we took on the base while all this was going on kicked in at the right time,” Talley said.

One of the two men who was shot has been released from the hospital. The other victim remains in critical condition.

WTOP’s Colleen Kelleher contributed to this story.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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