UPDATED: March 5, 2015 1:30 p.m.
LANHAM, Md. (WNEW/AP) — Five recent shootings in Maryland, including two Tuesday — one near the National Security Agency headquarters in Fort Meade and another on the Intercounty Connector near I-95 in Laurel — are connected, authorities say.
Police in Maryland say the suspect, 35-year-old Hong Young of Beltsville, chose his targets at random.
Anne Arundel County Chief Timothy Altomare said Wednesday that the shootings over the past week evoked memories of the D.C. Sniper, who were two snipers who killed 10 people in 2002 in the D.C. area.
Despite the fear created by the latest shootings, Altomare said everyone is “alive and well.”
Police have charged Young with attempted murder in the first shooting, first and second degree assault, reckless endangerment and firearms charges.
Young is currently being held at the Jennifer Road Detention Center on a no bond status.
Police say his next hearing will likely be on Friday at the District Court for Anne Arundel County.
“We believe the subject responsible for shooting incidents on the ICC, near Fort Meade Army installation and other locations around the Baltimore-Washington metro area in the last two weeks is in custody,” according to the Anne Arundel County Police Department.
Officers found .380 shell casings and a .380 semi-automatic handgun in plain view in Young’s 1999 Lincoln Town Car Tuesday night. They pulled him over because his car matched the description of the vehicle linked to three of the shootings.
“We are still attempting to assess the potential motive of the suspect, but this does not appear to be related to any potential domestic terrorism,” the Anne Arundel Police Department said in a statement.
Police say Young is a former corrections officer at a medium security prison in Jessup, but say nothing stands out in his employee file.
Young did learn this week that his petition for divorce was dismissed. He filed for divorce in September after nearly seven years of marriage. The case was dismissed Monday because his wife, Bunnary Ngo, had not been served with documents in the case, according to court records in Prince George’s County.
Prince George’s County police conducted a search of the Young’s home Wednesday morning.
PGPDNEWS (@PGPDNews) March 04, 2015
Police recovered 10 weapons, including a .223 semi-automatic pistol, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from the home.
On Wednesday morning, the Prince George’s County Police Department tweeted that the gun used in the Tuesday shootings, a semi-automatic pistol, was submitted to its lab and that firearms examiners have confirmed that four of the cases can now be linked through ballistics testing.
U.S. Park Police investigated a report of shots fired near the National Security Agency headquarters Tuesday afternoon, west of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway along Route 32.
Police spokeswoman Sgt. Lelani Woods said that the NSA reported damage to one of its buildings.
The BW Parkway was closed between MD-198 and MD-32 for the investigation, but was opened later Tuesday evening. Police would not say whether the NSA was directly targeted. NSA spokesman Ian Brennan says no injuries were reported.
Also on Tuesday afternoon, around 2:40 p.m., shots were fired as a truck was traveling eastbound on the Intercounty Connector near I-95 in Laurel.
A truck was traveling eastbound had just passed the exit for Briggs Chaney Road when it was struck by at least two bullets. Two longtime employees of Nelson Tree Specialist were inside.
The driver maintained control of the truck and eventually pulled off on the shoulder just up the road. One man was grazed by a bullet and the other suffered injuries from shattered glass and was taken to a local hospital. He has since been released.
Police spent the afternoon combing the woods alongside the road searching for the suspect or suspects and any other evidence.
Now, the FBI says, shootings at Arundel Mills, a Wal-Mart in Laurel and the Mall in Columbia may also be connected to Tuesday’s shootings.
Officer T.J. Smith of the Anne Arundel County Police Department says the suspect is a 35-year-old man Prince George’s County.
Smith says officers saw the car after they had stepped up patrols Tuesday in light of the most recent shooting, in which a building at the National Security Agency was struck. Two officers near Arundel Mills mall saw the vehicle about 10:30 p.m. near a Costco. Smith said because they recognized the car and the store was closed, the officers found the car’s presence suspicious and moved in.
He says they saw evidence that linked the suspect to the NSA shooting and the other shootings in the area, including one near the Costco last month.
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