Wire: Update - Recruiting Center Shooter Targeted Military
Off the Wire:
Police arrested 23 year old Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad for the shootings.
WASHINGTON, June 1, 2009 -- Newswire services this evening reported a man with "political and religious motives" killed a soldier just out of basic training and wounded another Monday in a targeted attack on a military recruiting center, police said.
USA Today described the man as "A Muslim convert who said he was opposed to the U.S. military."
The soldiers completed basic training within the past two weeks and were not regular recruiters, said Lt. Col. Thomas F. Artis of the Oklahoma City Recruiting Battalion, which oversees the Little Rock office.
The Associated Press reported the following details:
William Long, 24, of Conway, died, and Quinton Ezeagwula, 18, of Jacksonville, was wounded and in stable condition, Police Chief Stuart Thomas said.AP said witnesses told police that a man inside a black vehicle pulled up outside the recruiting center and opened fire about 10:30 a.m. Long fell onto the sidewalk outside the center while Ezeagwula was able to crawl toward its door.
Both men were from nearby hometowns and volunteered to work at the recruiting center to attract other locals to the military. "They can show the example, 'Here's where I was, and here is where I am,'" Artis said.
Police arrested Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, 23, along a crosstown interstate moments after the shootings at the Army-Navy Career Center in a shopping center in west Little Rock.
Muhammad acted alone, the police chief said, and based on an interview with officers, the suspect "probably had political and religious motives for the attack." He lived in an apartment just 1.5 miles from the recruiting center. A search warrant had been obtained for the apartment.
Thomas said Muhammad, previously known as Carlos Bledsoe, would be charged with first-degree murder, plus 15 counts of committing a terroristic act. Thomas said those counts result from the gunfire occurring near other people.
Police said Muhammad's vehicle was stopped on Interstate 630 a short time later and the suspect was taken into custody. Police Lt. Terry Hastings said the suspect surrendered without incident. Police found an assault rifle and other weapons in the vehicle, AP noted.
"He has converted to [Islam] here in the past few years," Hastings said. "We're not completely clear on what he was upset about. He had never been in the military.
"He saw them standing there and drove up and shot them. That's what he said."
(Report from newswire sources.)
Police: Recruiting center gunman targeted military
Recruiter shot dead outside Army office
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