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Investigators Identify Sailors Shot By Navy Medic Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet Near Fort Detrick, Investigation Continues Into Motive

FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ) -- The investigation continues into why Navy medic Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet opened fire near Fort Detrick Tuesday, injuring two sailors. Authorities released a photo of Woldesenbet Wednesday as they continue to learn more about who he was.

Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet
Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet. Credit: Frederick Police

Woldesenbet went to a military office at Riverside Tech Park Tuesday morning armed with a rifle and shot two sailors. The 38-year-old then drove to Fort Detrick where he was ultimately shot and killed after passing through a security gate.

In a statement released Wednesday Frederick Police said the investigation continues into the motive behind the shooting.

"Our agencies know the public and the media want answers regarding this incident and the subsequent investigation. We do as well. Investigations take time," Frederick Police said in a release.

The area near the shooting remained closed off Wednesday.

US Navy Hospitalman Casey Nutt, 26, of Germantown was released from Shock Trauma Tuesday evening. Surveillance video showed Nutt getting help from employees at Nicolock Paving Stones after the shooting.


Workers at Nicolock paving called 911 and tried to provide comfort to Nutt. Minutes later, the video shows first responders rush to treat the sailor's injuries.

"He was covered in blood. All he said to us was, 'I've been shot. There's an active shooter, and he's still chasing me,'" said operations manager Garrett Wagner.


Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Carlos Portugal, 36, of Frederick, is the victim FPD found in the warehouse where the initial shooting occurred. He remains at the trauma center in critical condition.

"On behalf of all the men and women of the Frederick Police Department, we would like to send our best wishes for a full recovery to both victims of yesterday's shooting," said Chief Jason Lando in a statement Wednesday. "Yesterday was a tragic day for our entire city, but even more so for those who were injured and for their families. Please know you and your loved ones are in our thoughts and prayers."

The shooting happened in the Frederick business park located four miles from Fort Detrick. The suspect then drove to the base in a personally-owned vehicle. Woldesenbet was stopped at a gate, but before he was able to be searched, Army officials said he sped through about a half-mile into the base.

He was pursued by the Fort Detrick Police and stopped in a parking lot but pulled out a weapon. That's when he was shot and ultimately died around 8:45 a.m.

"The subject was stopped at the gate before he was able to be searched. He sped past the gate and made it about a half-mile into the installation. He was pursued immediately," Brigade General Michael Talley said.

"We send our thoughts and prayers to Hospitalman Nutt and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Portugal and their families," Talley said in a statement Wednesday. "The Fort Detrick community is here to offer support as our brave Sailors heal from this tragic incident."

Woldesenbet was a Navy Hospital Corpsman, the U.S. Navy confirmed Tuesday. He was on active duty but lived off-base in the City of Frederick. Authorities searched his home Tuesday following the shooting. He had recently moved to Frederick.

He was previously assigned to a Naval medical research center in Maryland for nearly two years, according to his service record. CBS News has learned Woldesenbet was enlisted in September 2012 and most recently reported to the Naval Medical Research Center in Frederick in August 2019. In between, he served at military facilities in San Antonio, Texas; Camp Lejeune in North Carolina; Corpus Christi, Texas; Bremerton, Washington; and Portsmouth, Virginia.

Woldesenbet was awarded a Good Conduct Medal, a National Defense Service Medal and a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, his record shows. It lists his rank as Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class.

He may have had a wife and children.

"We send our deepest condolences to all affected by this terrible act of violence and will continue to support the investigation. A Navy Medicine special psychiatric rapid intervention team (SPRINT) has been sent to Fort Detrick to provide counseling support for individuals affected by this tragic event and they will work with local Army Chaplains and other support services on Fort Detrick to ensure those in need of care get the support they need," the Navy said in a statement.

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