A US police officer has been arrested after a deadly shooting spree near the US capital. The suspect is an employee of the Federal Protective Service, which provides security at federal properties.
Police in the US state of Maryland say three people are dead and several others are wounded in shootings at a mall and a shopping center in the Washington suburbs.
Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger told reporters Friday his officers who spotted a car linked to a fatal Thursday shooting at a high school then sighted suspect 62-year-old Eulalio Tordil.
The chief said his officers observed Tordil walk from store to store, but were able to arrest him without incident.
"He just got out of his car. He gave up," witness Jason Palmer, a private investigator, told the AP news agency. "They pinned him in."
Tordil is suspected to have been the lone gunman behind three fatal shootings over two days that began when he shot and killed his estranged wife at a high school where she was picking up their daughters after class.
The second shooting was in a mall parking lot Friday morning and the third was at a shopping center about 5 miles (8 kilometers) away.
Authorities said that aside from the killing of his 44-year-old wife Gladys there was no apparent connection between Tordil and the other victims.
An employee of the Federal Protective Service, which provides security at federal properties, Tordil had been suspended from his job in March. He had surrendered his gun and badge, after his wife obtained a protective order to keep him away, an official with the service said.
Schools in Montgomery County were locked down following the first shootings but normal operations reumed after Tordil was taken into custody.
Suspect Eulalio Tordil was suspended from his police job after his wife accused him of threatening her
US records show that Tordil had been in legal trouble before. He had once been ordered to repay the US government nearly $16,000 (14,000 euros) after auditors accused him of misusing a housing program.
A report by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General in 2008 says Tordil obtained government-owned property under a program designed to help law enforcement officers.
But the report said Tordil got a $26,500 discount on the property eve though he didn't actually live there, as the program required. It said he agreed to pay the government $15,900.
jar/bw (AP, AFP)