Police say shooting “eerily” similar to D.C. Sniper case
ROCKVILLE – One man is in custody, three are dead and two injured following a shooting spree that apparently began in Prince Georges County on Thursday and ended Friday afternoon in the Aspen Hill area of Montgomery County.
Sources close to the police investigation say the case is “eerily similar” to the D.C. sniper case in the same area some 14 years ago.
“Today’s shooter even ate at the same restaurant as the D.C. snipers after they shot someone in the same part of Aspen Hill,” said a local investigator who asked not to be named.
Police arrested Eulalio Sevilla Tordil, 62, a federal protective service officer who was suspended earlier this year.
Investigators also apparently have a gun in their possession they believe to be the murder weapon, and other than the shooting Thursday night of the suspect’s estranged wife police currently are investigating the possibility the remaining shootings were “All random acts of violence.”
According to state prosecutor John McCarthy, “If it were not for the professional actions of our local police department, the number of lives lost could have been much higher.”
McCarthy said police noticed Tordil in the Northgate Plaza in Aspen Hill and had him under surveillance for about an hour as he purchased a coffee at a Dunkin Donuts and then ate at the same Boston Market the two D.C. snipers dined in 14 years ago after they opened fire in a nearby shopping center.
According to Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski, police had been searching for Tordil since Thursday.
“Since last night our investigators and our apprehensive team have been working diligently to make apprehension on this individual using a number of different methods,” Stawinski said.
In a news conference in Aspen Hill Friday afternoon Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger said Prince Georges and Montgomery County Police worked hand in hand in making the arrest.
“They had passed along information last night, passed along further information that we had gotten this morning regarding their homicide. And that’s one of the reasons our officers were aware of the lookout and aware of the vehicle description from their case last night,” Manger said.
Friday morning police first responded to a shooting at Westfield Mall where at least one man died and several more were injured.
According to witnesses at the mall they heard several “pop pops,” in the parking lot. One man on a bus said he saw a man with the gun and watched him open fire. Others say two men tried to assist a young woman who had been shot and the two good Samaritans in turn were apparently shot – with one of them dying.
About a half hour later police say a woman sitting in her car at the Giant Food Market in Aspen Hill got shot. Manger said the shooter apparently stuck around the scene.
“While plainclothes officers had responded to the scene in Aspen Hill, they were circulating in the area looking for information or witnesses or any lookouts. One of the plainclothes officers observed a vehicle, a silver vehicle that matched the description of a homicide that occurred in Prince George’s County last night,” Manger said.
“The tag number also matched to that vehicle lookout.”
Officers were able to obtain a description of the suspect and one of the officers spotted him at the Dunkin’ Donuts at the Northgate Plaza shopping center. Police kept him under surveillance until after he left the neighboring Boston Market and then arrested him.
“We needed to make sure that the public was safe before we took him into custody. The fear was that he was armed and since he had already shot four people today, we certainly did not want to have any other bloodshed here,” Manger said.
According to Prince George’s County Police, Tordil was the only suspect in the shooting of his estranged wife Thursday night. According to police, shortly after 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, fire and EMS units from the Prince George’s County Fire Department, along with patrol units from the county police department, were called to the school for a report of several people shot in the parking lot.
According to fire and police officials, when units arrived on the scene they found an adult female inside her SUV suffering from gunshots wounds to her body. Police have identified the victim as 44-year-old Gladys Tordil who is a teacher at Parkdale High School. She was pronounced dead on the scene.
They also found an adult male suffering from gunshot wounds to his shoulder. He was transported to a local trauma center with non-life threatening injuries.
Tordil is a former employee of the Federal Protective Service. Tordil was put on administrative leave from the service earlier in the year.