Eulalio "Leo" Tordil, a 62-year-old federal law enforcement officer, was arrested Friday in a Maryland parking lot after a shooting spree that left three dead and three wounded across two counties including a school, mall, and grocery store.
As the Washington Post reports, Tordil's capture followed an intense manhunt that stretched over 22 hours. The spate of killings had forced retail establishments, government buildings, and schools in the Montgomery County area to shut down.
Federal police officer linked to 3 deadly Maryland shootings in custody https://t.co/yZvNZKZD6e pic.twitter.com/BfNQpzasmZTordil's silver Hyundai Elantra was rammed by police officers a few minutes before 3 p.m. Friday outside a strip mall. Police officers had pulled out their guns and told him to surrender. Tordil, who had planned to end his life using "suicide by cop," surprisingly emerged from the vehicle with his hands up. A witness, Theresa Doyle, who watched the shooter be apprehended from her vehicle, said "he gave up peacefully."
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The takedown happened at the Boston Market where Tordil had returned to eat his lunch -- a salad accompanied by a glass of water, close to a window facing his car. It was the same restaurant where the D.C. Beltway snipers, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, had eaten after killing 10 people in 2002. Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy said "it was an irony that was not lost on me."
Suspect arrested in shootings at Maryland shopping centers: https://t.co/g6m4ZZzjnq pic.twitter.com/5N3yOR10sfThe shootings started Thursday when Tordil approached the SUV of his estranged wife, Gladys, who was waiting to pick up two of their daughters in a parking lot at High Point School in Beltsville. The former couple had engaged in a heated argument. A man that had tried to intervene was shot in the shoulder; Tordil had then turned the gun on his wife's SUV and fired repeatedly at her.
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The murder was the climax to a protective order against Tordil by Gladys over alleged physical abuse and the "intense-military like discipline" her children consistently suffered. The order was issued in March. According to court documents, Gladys had said "he threatened to harm me if I ever left him."
The Federal Protective Service, because of the order, had stripped Tordil of his gun and badge and placed him on administrative duties. Reports also say that a stockpile of his personal firearms were confiscated. His wife, in the court document, had mentioned that he owned an M4 hunting rifle, and 40-caliber and .45 caliber handguns. Tordil's Facebook page, under "favorite quotes," eerily had a message for his estranged wife that read "You can ran (sic) but you can't hide."
Police authorities declared him as their number one suspect after the shooting at the parking lot. But officers had little to work with, especially since they were dealing with a veteran in law enforcement. They said he turned off his phone 20 minutes before he killed his wife and never turned it back on. Police found out that the Elantra he was driving was leased and through grainy footage, confirmed it had a Pennsylvania license plate number, but still found it hard to track down the suspect.
More than 100 homicide detectives, special patrol teams and undercover officers were looking for Tordil, but he continued to evade authorities. Tordil continued his violent spree Friday around 11:15 a.m., killing one person and wounding two others in a Westfield Montgomery Mall parking lot. Two of the people shot were first responders to the first victim who was shot.
As officers swarmed to the scene, they received a 911 call that a woman had been fatally shot in her car, nine miles away at a grocery store in Aspen Hill. A plainclothes officer had spotted the "hot vehicle" across the street from the grocery store. Investigators believed that Tordil was in the area and found him lunching at the Boston market. Law enforcement authorities refused to apprehend him because they did not want to trigger a firefight in a crowded area. His vehicle was swarmed by officers as he entered it to drive away.
[AP Photo/Alex Brandon]