Gunfire targets 5th military-related site near DC

Published November 2, 2010

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – At least one shot was fired overnight at a Coast Guard recruiting office in northern Virginia, police said Tuesday, the fifth case since last month of unexplained gunfire targeting military-related buildings in the Washington area.

There were no injuries and only minor damage at the strip mall site, Prince William County police said. Police said the gunfire did not shatter the front glass.

The FBI has blamed four previous shootings on a single unknown assailant who they say could be harboring a grievance against the Marine Corps. Three of the five attacks since mid-October hit Marine-related facilities. Nobody was injured.

Outside the Coast Guard office Tuesday, police and FBI agents could be seen searching the area, some crossing the ground in a line about 10 abreast while others looked through grass on their hands and knees.

Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Chinn said it appears the shooting occurred overnight. It seemed similar to other recent shootings, though investigators won't know for sure until evidence is processed at a lab, she said.

The FBI's Washington Field Office is investigating, but the agency said it wasn't clear Tuesday whether this attack is linked to the others.

In four separate incidents starting in mid-October, shots were fired twice at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Va., once at the Pentagon and once at a Marine Corps recruiting station in northern Virginia. No injuries were reported in any of the shootings.

The FBI said Friday that it believed one gunman was responsible for those four shootings, possibly someone with a grievance against the U.S. Marine Corps.

John Perren, the acting assistant director for the FBI's Washington field office, said investigators believe the person takes issue with the institution of the Marines, but not with those serving in uniform. Perren said the person has made sure no one has been hurt, and authorities don't believe he wants to harm citizens or Marines.

Written by Associated Press

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