Gunman Dies After Shooting 2 Pentagon Police

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Authorities are investigating what may have triggered Thursday night's deadly shooting incident at the Pentagon, including the gunman's past ties.

The shooter, John Patrick Bedell, 36, of Hollister, Calif., died after being shot by police. This was not his first run-in with law enforcement.

Investigators may never know for sure why he attacked, but Internet postings suggest he was angry at the government and believed the 9/11even attacks were staged.

At a news conference Friday morning, Pentagon Police Chief Richard Keevill said he does not know why Bedell opened fire, though it does not appear to be terrorism.

"There is no indication at this point that there are any domestic or international terrorism nexus to this at all. At this time, it appears to be a single individual who had issues,"Keevill said.

Bedell, dressed in a suit, walked up to a guard station alone and opened fire, wounding two Pentagon police officers. Bedell died from his wounds after officers shot back at him.

Authorities are looking at anti-government postings by a Bedell on the Internet.

One such posting reads: "The moral values of individuals and communities are increasingly attacked by a political system where deceit is routine and accepted, and the only standard is power."

A 2007 Wikipedia posting by Bedell expresses paranoia about the 9/11 attacks and the Kennedy assassination.

He wrote that he wanted to establish "the truth of events such as the September 11 demolitions and institutions such as the coup regime of 1963 that maintains itself in power through the global drug trade, financial corruption, and murder, among other crimes."

"Well, it seems like there's a real pattern here not only of Islamic terrorists, but anti-government zealots targeting U.S. military installations," CBN News Terrorism analyst Erick Stakelbeck said. "Really, the U.S. military, to people like this, represents everything that's wrong with the world, everything they hate, and everything they want to bring down."

As word spread throughout the Washington, D.C., frantic friends and relatives started tracking down loved ones who work at the Pentagon.

"The phone started ringing and the blackberry started going off with people calling the two of us trying to find out if we were alive," Pentagon worker Patty Benner said. "Because after September 11th, there is a slight jitteriness amongst my family and friends,"

In recent weeks, Bedell's parents filed a missing persons report when their son disappeared for awhile in January. They had told authorities he was upset and had purchased a gun.

Bedell had also been institutionalized for mental health issues at least four times in the past. But when this latest lone gunman attacked, his would-be victims were ready.

"The Fort Hood incident put us on notice that it could happen even at a military reservation. We took the appropriate actions, we trained our officers and it worked," Keevill said.

Both of the police officers shot outside the Pentagon have been released from the hospital. One of them gives God the credit for protecting him.

"I just thank the Lord that he shielded me when all of this took place," officer Jeffery Amos said.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.