Pentagon gunman linked to anti-government Web rantings

Click here for a timeline of recent attacks against federal employees and facilities.

The California man who shot two Pentagon security officers on Thursday evening is linked to anti-government Internet screeds, according to an Associated Press report.

The gunman, 36-year-old John Patrick Bedell, died on Friday morning from wounds sustained when the security officers returned fire.

Internet postings by someone using the name "JPatrickBedell" expressed distrust with the government, including its role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and in the 1991 death of Marine Col. James Sabow. The poster also criticized laws against marijuana use, and published a two-part treatise on big government, according to AP. Authorities have yet to verify that the writings were Bedell's.

Bedell reportedly approached the officers calmly, at an entrance to the Pentagon. When asked for identification, he pulled out his gun and opened fire, police said. The two wounded Pentagon Force Protection Agency officers, Jeffrey Amos and Marvin Carraway, and a third officer, acted quickly to contain the incident.

Police said they believed Bedell was acting alone and was not connected to any terrorist organizations.

The shooting happened at 6:40 p.m., just at the end of rush hour.

Pentagon Police Chief Richard Keevill praised Amos and Carraway for preventing the gunman from entering the Pentagon.

"The Fort Hood incident put us on notice that this can happen anywhere," Keevill said.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said the Pentagon metro station will remain closed pending an FBI investigation of the crime scene on the sidewalk near the station and bus stops. Trains will run through the station but will not let passengers on or off.

The shooting comes on the heels of several other attacks on federal facilities. In mid-February, a software engineer who had complained about the U.S. tax code flew a small plane into an Internal Revenue Service building in Austin, Texas, killing employee Vernon Hunter and burning down the office. In November 2009, a gunman opened fire at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 and injuring dozens more. The alleged shooter, Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, had apparently adopted radical Islamist views.

"While it is not clear what specifically motivated the shooter, several Internet postings suggest that his attack is yet another in a wave of anti-government attacks aimed a disrupting the foundation of our democracy," said John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees.

Gage praised federal law enforcement officers for their response in this incident, as well as others at federal facilities.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.