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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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FBI Links 3 Military Shootings in DC Area

October 28, 2010 - 6:45 PM | by: Justin Fishel

WASHINGTON — The FBI has confirmed all three military related shootings in the Washington D.C. area are connected, saying Thursday ballistic evidence shows the same weapon was used at each site.

The latest shooting occurred at a vacant Marine recruiting station in Chantilly, Virginia sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning.

In the early morning hours of October 19 police and FBI investigators responded in force when six shots were fired into the south side of the Pentagon, leaving bullets embedded in two different windows. Just two days earlier police in Quantico, Virginia responded to a similar attack on the Marine Corps Museum, where bullets were also fired at windows in the early morning hours.

At the time of the Pentagon shooting police said the weapon used was believed to be a high-powered rifle.

So far the FBI has yet to identify any suspects and no one has been injured in any of the attacks. An investigation is being headed up by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The Pentagon was hit in an area of the building that is currently under construction, well before any workers arrived. $20,000 worth of glass panels were destroyed at the museum, but none of the museum’s artifacts — including a harrier jet hanging near the damaged windows — were hit.

The shootings all occurred with 40 miles of each other. In the case of the Pentagon and Museum shootings, circumstances suggest the shots may have come from major highways that run past the buildings. The Pentagon faces I-395 on its south side, while the Marine Corps Museum sits just off the northbound lanes of I-95. At one point the Pentagon police closed down portions of I-395 to search for shell casings. A cleaning crew at the museum in Quantico called police when they noticed the bullet holes in windows high up in a part of the building that faces Interstate 95. Meanwhile, the Marine Corps recruiting station sits just over 100 yards from route 50, a 6-lane road that connects Washington to Virginia’s suburbs.

For the Pentagon it’s the second incident of its kind this year. On March 4th a gunman opened fire at a security checkpoint into the Pentagon in a point-blank attack that wounded two police officers.

The shooter, identified as John Patrick Bedell, 36, of Hollister, Calif., was shot in the head by police moments after the attack began and died hours after being admitted to a hospital in critical condition. Authorities had no motive for the shooting, but there had been signs that Bedell may have harbored resentment for the military and had doubts about the facts behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Pentagon officials said on Thursday that extra police officers will be on duty for the Marine Corps Marathon, set to take place in Washington on Sunday morning.

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