A gunman drew a weapon from his pocket and opened fire at the teeming subway entrance to the Pentagon complex on Thursday evening, wounding two police officers before being shot and critically wounded, officials said.
Two officers were injured and the shooter himself killed in a shooting at the Pentagon, headquarters for the United States Department of Defence.
At approximately 6:40 p.m. local time a shooter fired at the officers at the entrance to the Pentagon Metro station outside the Pentagon building, according to a statement released by the Defense Department.
The Pentagon Force Protection Agency officers returned fire, injuring the gunman, it said, adding that the officers’ injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. "The officers acted very quickly and decisively to neutralize the threat," a police spokesman said. The Pentagon was in lockdown for some part of yesterday evening.
According to reports, Chief Richard Keevill at the Pentagon said the shooter, identified as John Patrick Bedell of Hollister, California, spent the last several weeks driving from the West Coast. Police found his car in a local parking garage along with ammunition in his vehicle.
Bedell, 36, died on Thursday night from head wounds received in a volley of fire. There has been no official statement on the possible motive for the attack and the shooting is under investigation; however a report by the Associated Press cited internet postings linked to Bedell pointing to “long-held frustration with the government's reach into the private life of Americans”.