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Federal officer charged with wife's murder in Washington DC area

Published 07/05/2016

Montgomery County Police Captain Paul Starks speaks to the media (AP)
Montgomery County Police Captain Paul Starks speaks to the media (AP)

A federal security officer suspected over three fatal shootings in the Washington DC area has been charged with his wife's murder.

Prince George's County Police said Eulalio Tordil has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of his estranged wife, 44-year-old Gladys Tordil.

Tordil, an employee of the Federal Protective Service, which provides security at federal properties, was taken into custody without incident near a supermarket, the scene of the last shooting, authorities said.

The brief manhunt and seemingly indiscriminate shootings rekindled fears of the DC sniper case of 2002, which paralysed the nation's capital and its suburbs.

Plainclothes officers trailed Tordil for an hour, watching him walk from store to store at a shopping centre as they waited for the right time to arrest him. He had earlier threatened to "commit suicide by cop" and authorities wanted to make sure the public were safe when he was arrested.

"Knowing his behaviour today, knowing of statements he made in the past, we did not want to endanger anyone and have a shootout when we took him into custody and that's why he was taken into custody the way he was," Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger said.

Three people were also wounded in the series of shootings.

Tordil was put on administrative duties in March after a protective order was issued against him when his wife said he had threatened to harm her if she left him, the Washington Post reported. Tordil subjected their children to "intense-military-like discipline", like press-ups and detention in a dark closet, according to the order.

Authorities said Tordil followed his wife to their children's school on Thursday, and as she waited in the car park of High Point High School, he confronted her and shot her.

The shooting occurred more than an hour after school and no students were harmed.

On Friday morning, about 15 miles from the school, police responded to a shooting at the Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. One person was initially shot and two others may have been shot in going to that person's aid, said Montgomery County Police Assistant Chief Darryl McSwain.

A man died and another one was in critical condition. A woman had injuries that were not life-threatening.

About half an hour later, while police were still at the mall, they got a report of a shooting at a Giant Food store in Aspen Hill, about five miles away. A woman who was sitting in her car was shot and killed, authorities said.

Tordil was spotted by officers and when he returned to his car, they surrounded him.

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From Belfast Telegraph