Shooting at Coast Guard office in Va. similar to four other recent incidents
WOODBRIDGE, Va. — At least one shot was fired early yesterday at a Coast Guard recruiting office in northern Virginia, police said, the fifth case of unexplained gunfire targeting military-related buildings in the Washington, D.C., area in the last several weeks.
There were no injuries and only minor damage at the office’s strip-mall location, 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 assailant who they say could be harboring a grievance against the Marine Corps. Three of the five attacks since Oct. 17 hit Marine-related facilities. Nobody was injured.
Outside the Coast Guard office yesterday, police and FBI agents from the Washington field office could be seen searching the area, some crossing the ground in a line about 10 abreast while others were on their hands and knees to look through grass.
A police spokeswoman, Sergeant 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 also said it wasn’t clear yesterday whether this attack is linked to the others.
In the four previous incidents, 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 last week that it believed one gunman was responsible for those four shootings, possibly someone with a grievance against the 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.