Police file multiple murder charges in shooting spree deaths

  • Police take Eulalio Tordil, 62, a suspect in three fatal shootings in the Washington, D.C., area into custody in Bethesda, Md., Friday, May 6, 2016. Tordil is an employee of the Federal Protective Service, which provides security at federal properties. He was put on administrative duties in March after a protective order was issued against him. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Alex Brandon

  • Montgomery County Police Captain Paul Starks speaks to the media at the parking lot, outside the Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Md., Friday, May 6, 2016. Police say three people were hurt in the shooting. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) Jose Luis Magana

  • This photo provided by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration shows Eulalio Tordil. A manhunt was under way May 6, 2016, after authorities said they were looking into whether three fatal shootings in the Washington area were connected. The first shooting occurred May 5 at a high school. The second occurred in a mall parking lot and the third happened minutes later at a nearby shopping center. Police have identified the school shooting suspect as Tordil, an employee of the Federal Protective Service, which provides security at federal properties. (Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration via AP)

  • Assistant Montgomery County Police Chief Darryl McSwain leaves after speaking to reporters under a tent during a heavy rain at Westfield Montgomery Mall parking lot in Md., after a shooting Friday, May 6, 2016. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) Jose Luis Magana

  • Montgomery County Police officer mark evidence after a shooting at Westfield Montgomery Mall parking lot in Md., Friday, May 6, 2016. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) Jose Luis Magana

  • Montgomery County Police officers investigate the evidence after a shooting at Westfield Montgomery Mall parking lot in Md., on Friday. AP

  • Montgomery County Police officers investigate the evidence after a shooting at Westfield Montgomery Mall parking lot in Md., Friday, May 6, 2016. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) Jose Luis Magana

Associated Press
Published: 5/7/2016 11:40:08 PM

A federal security officer is now facing multiple murder charges in a shooting spree across three Maryland parking lots that left three people dead.

Court records show 62-year-old Eulalio Tordil of Adelphi, Md., was formally charged Saturday in Montgomery County with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder, along with four firearms charges.

He will make an initial court appearance Monday.

Tordil had already been charged with first-degree murder in Prince George’s County for the shooting death of his estranged wife, Gladys, in a high school parking lot Thursday. Hers was the first in a string of shootings Thursday and Friday in the Maryland suburbs of Washington.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison. Maryland abolished the death penalty in 2013.

The shooting spree began with a domestic slaying in an unusually public place, and comparisons to the 2002 D.C. sniper shootings leapt immediately to the minds of area residents. Tordil’s arrest took place just steps away from a Michaels craft store that was the first target of snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo.

Police say Tordil’s spree began when he shot and killed his estranged wife – who had obtained a protective order from him – as she waited to pick up her children in the parking lot of a High Point High School in Beltsville, Md. He also shot and wounded a bystander who tried to intervene, police said.

Detectives worked through the night, trying to use cellphone technology to pinpoint Tordil’s location. But they weren’t able to catch him. The next day, according to police, he struck again, this time apparently choosing his victims at random.

On Friday morning, police said, Tordil shot three people outside Montgomery Mall, an upscale mall in Bethesda that sits off the Capital Beltway. One man died and two others were wounded, one of them critically. Then, he drove to a supermarket several miles away in the Aspen Hill section of Silver Spring, where he fatally shot a woman who was sitting in her car, police said.

Unlike the 2002 sniper shootings that stretched over a period of weeks and left 10 dead, police had an idea about who was responsible for Friday’s shootings. Plainclothes officers spotted Tordil’s car at a strip mall across the street from the supermarket, and they watched him for more than an hour as he moved from store to store, eating at Boston Market and getting coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts, police said. Fearing that he wanted to provoke officers into shooting him, police waited him out until he returned to his car. Then they boxed him in and drew their guns. He emerged from the car with his hands up.

“We did not want to endanger anyone and have a shootout when we took him into custody,” Montgomery County police Chief Thomas Manger said. “That may have been what he wanted.”

Instead, Tordil will have to answer in court for the string of carnage attributed to him: three people dead and another three wounded in roughly 20 hours.

Hank Stawinski, the police chief in neighboring Prince George’s County, where the school shooting took place, lamented that his detectives couldn’t find Tordil sooner.

“It’s tragic that we were not able to intervene prior to additional individuals being harmed,” Stawinski said.




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