Incident Summary:

3/4/2010: At roughly 6:40 p.m., John Patrick Bedell walked up to the entrance of the Pentagon- in Arlington, Virginia, United States- drew out a gun and fired, wounding two police officers. Bedell was shot and critically wounded. He later died of his wounds in the hospital. The two police officers had non-life-threatening injuries and survived.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
At the entrance gates to the Pentagon

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Government (General)
Name of Entity United States Government
Specific Description Pentagon Building
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Handgun
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information The mental state of Bedell and his motive for the attack are unclear. Before the attack occurred, Bedells parents (with whom he was living) had informed authorities that their son was mentally unstable. Drug use and increasing paranoia greatly concerned Bedell's parents.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Anti-Government extremists (suspected) Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Other)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 1
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 1 Fatalities / 2 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 1
Number of U.S. Fatalities 1
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 1
Total Number of Injured 2
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Allison Klein, Clarence Williams, and Martin Weil, "2 officers shot at Pentagon's main entrance; suspect also wounded Motive unclear in Rush hour incident", The Washington Post, March 5, 2010.
Anahad O'Connor and Ian Urbina, "Gunman Wounds Two Pentagon Officers in Shootout at Subway Entrance", The New York Times, March 5, 2010.
Gordon Lubold, "Col. James Sabow: Pentagon shooter was obsessed with 1991 case; Pentagon shooter John Patrick Bedell was drawn to the 1991 case of Marine Corps Col. James Sabow. Investigators sais the officer committed suicide, but others- including his brother- are sure he was murdered", The Christian Science Monitor, March 5, 2010.