Washington: A California man killed in a shootout with Pentagon police drove cross-country and arrived outside the military headquarters armed with two semiautomatic weapons, authorities said Friday. Internet postings linked to the lone shooting suspect reflect long-held anti-government anger.
John Patrick Bedell, 36, pulled a handgun at a Pentagon entrance, shot two police officers and was mortally wounded in an exchange of gunfire, authorities said. The two officers were hospitalized briefly with minor injuries.
A blog connected to Bedell via the social networking site LinkedIn outlines his growing distrust of the federal government. It gives credence to the idea that a criminal enterprise run out of the government could have staged the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
It was one of several conspiracy-laden Internet postings linked to Bedell to surface since Thursday night`s shooting.
Authorities said Bedell, of Hollister, Calif., had previous run-ins with the law. They found no known connection to terrorist groups or ideologies, investigators said.
The attack oustide the massive Defense Department headquarters appeared to be a case of "a single individual who had issues," Richard Keevill, chief of Pentagon police, said Friday.
Bedell died Thursday night from head wounds. Officials said the two wounded guards were officers Jeffery Amos and Marvin Carraway, both of whom returned fire. They said a third guard they did not name also fired.
Reached by telephone, Amos declined to answer any questions about the shooting but said he was doing OK.
"I`m fine and my family is fine," he told The Associated Press. "I just thank the Lord that he shielded me when all of this took place."
Bedell drove across country, including a stop at a motel in Reno, Nevada, law enforcement officials said.
It was not immediately clear how long he stayed there, or if it was anything more than a stopover on his way to a violent end.
Hints of a long a deap-seated mistrust of government emerged in anti-government Internet postings linked to Bedell. The LinkedIn blog contained a two-part treatise on big government, including its vulnerability to being controlled by a criminal organization.
"This organization, like so many murderous governments throughout history, would see the sacrifice of thousands of its citizens, in an event such as the September 11 attacks, as a small cost in order to perpetuate its barbaric control," the blog post read.
Keevill described Bedell as "very well-educated" and well-dressed, wearing a suit that blended with commuters when he showed up at the Pentagon`s subway entrance about 6:40 p.m. But he was concealing two 9 millimeter semiautomatic weapons and "many magazines" of ammunition, Keevill said.
When Bedell seemed to reach into his pocket for worker identification, he was instead reaching for a gun, Keevill said.