2010 Pentagon shooting

On March 4, 2010, John Patrick Bedell shot and wounded two Pentagon police officers at a security checkpoint in the Pentagon station of the Washington Metro rapid transit system in Arlington County, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. United States. The officers returned fire, striking him in the head. Bedell was killed from the wounds.[1]

2010 Pentagon shooting
LocationArlington, Virginia, U.S.
DateMarch 4, 2010 (2010-03-04)
c. 6:40 p.m. (EST)
Attack type
Deaths1 (the perpetrator)
PerpetratorJohn Patrick Bedell


The suit-clad gunman was wounded after firing upon and injuring two Pentagon police officers. The shooting occurred around 6:40 p.m.[2] outside the Metro station entrance. As he neared the security checkpoint, Bedell reportedly appeared to be "pretty calm." When the officers asked for his credentials, "he drew a weapon from his pocket and started shooting." Joined by a third officer who came to their aid, the police defended themselves and returned fire, mortally wounding their attacker.[3]

The conflict was over in less than a minute. According to Chief Richard Keevill of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, Bedell was armed with two 9mm semiautomatic pistols and had several loaded magazines. Authorities found more ammunition in his car, parked in a nearby parking garage.[4]

Bedell and the injured officers were transported to George Washington University Hospital by units of the Arlington County Fire Department.[5] The two injured officers, Jeffrey Amos and Marvin Carraway, were soon released from the hospital.[3] One had a thigh wound, and the other had a shoulder wound. Both injuries were superficial.[4]


All of the Pentagon's entrances were secured after the attack except the one leading from the Metro. All were reopened according to Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman. The Metro station had also been reopened by 8:00 p.m. except the entrance nearest the area of the shooting. Whitman said the subway entrance was likely to remain closed overnight.[2]

The subway station is adjacent to the Pentagon. It was redesigned after the September 11 terrorist attacks; commuters are no longer allowed to go directly into the building. Instead they must ride an escalator to the surface and pass through a security check outside the building's doors.[2]


John Patrick Bedell
Driver's license photo of Bedell
Born(1973-05-20)May 20, 1973
Hollister, California, U.S.
DiedMarch 5, 2010(2010-03-05) (aged 36)
Arlington County, Virginia, U.S.
Cause of deathGunshot to the head
OccupationComputer programmer
Criminal statusDeceased

John Patrick Bedell (May 20, 1973 – March 5, 2010) was a computer programmer and engineering student[6] from Hollister, California.[7][failed verification][1] He suffered from bipolar disorder and had been institutionalized several times,[8] according to a 2006 Orange County court filing regarding an arrest for marijuana possession.[9][10] It is unclear how or if the bipolar disorder affected his behavior in this matter.[11]

He graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz in 1994 with an undergraduate degree in physics. He also attended San Jose State University in 1995–1996, studying biochemistry.[12]

Political viewsEdit

The Christian Science Monitor noted Bedell was an "anti-Bush registered Democrat who believed 9/11 was planned and carried out by the US government," but argued it would nevertheless be "facile" to call him left-wing. The Monitor instead grouped Bedell with "non-partisan" or "post-partisan" anti-government extremists such as Joseph Andrew Stack and the Ku Klux Klan.[13]

A blog on Blogspot named Rothbardix appears to be authored by Bedell. The title of the blog probably represents a reference to anarcho-capitalist Murray Rothbard.[14] The blog details many libertarian beliefs, including, "The most basic principle of economic justice is the protection of private property and the protection of the right to freely exchange that property. Modern governments, however, consistently and routinely violate the rights of property owners ..."[15] Bedell also complained about the size of the United States government, organized theft by the government of citizen's personal property, government control of the economy including "[T]he constantly expanding regulation of business."[citation needed]

Bedell also seems to suggest the United States government is controlled by an elite group of people. In the final paragraph of his last blog post, he wrote "The blatant violations of the Constitution's limitations on the economic role of the government, accomplished through many subtle usurpations over many decades, are perhaps even more pernicious than, and are certainly a key motivation for, the violent seizure of the United States government."[15]

The anti-government views on Bedell's blog are also buttressed by his Facebook page, since deleted but image captured, where he associated himself as a fan of the libertarian Ludwig von Mises Institute, Lew Rockwell, and Shelly Roche (a self-described libertarian).[16]

Bedell posted a proposal on Google Code for an "open insurgent project" that would "integrate existing open-source codebases and new development to create an MMORPG simulation of low-cost defenses against futuristic, modern, and historical military opponents using a wide range of simulated defensive responses with real world systems."[17] He also created a Linux distribution called Rothbardix.[18]

On March 5, 2010, media reports said that Bedell may have harbored entrenched bitterness towards the U.S. Armed Forces and that he had doubts about the official story of the September 11 attacks. He has also been described as a "follower of the 9/11 truth movement."[19]

In 2006, he was arrested for openly growing cannabis on his balcony, which he explained in a podcast was due to his "belief that cannabis prohibition is the least defensible and most unjust aspect of the prohibitionist regime." He refused to cooperate with officers and was carried down the apartment stairs to a patrol car.[20] He mentioned on his blog, Rothbardix, his arrest and subsequent dealings with law enforcement officials resulting from his arrest on marijuana charges and obstructing an officer.[15] Bedell was described as motivated by a hatred of the federal government and an expressed desire to expose what he considered[21] an injustice in the case of a military suicide he argued was a coverup.

He apparently wrote on a Wikipedia page that bringing attention to what he felt was military corruption would "see that justice is served in the death of Colonel James Sabow, as a step toward establishing the truth of events such as the September 11 demolitions and institutions such as the coup regime of 1963 that maintains itself in power through the global drug trade, financial corruption, and murder, among other crimes."[22]

Bedell also envisioned a system which required "billions and billions of carefully cultivated, highly valuable cannabis plants growing through the United States with complete security of property." This was to have been the basis for a proposed new monetary system based on the value of a gram of cannabis.[23]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b NBC News (March 5, 2010). "Pentagon gunman sought 'truth' about 9/11". NBC News. Retrieved March 5, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c My Fox Boston (March 5, 2010). "Officials: Pentagon shooting suspect dies". My Fox Boston. Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved March 5, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Officers Hurt, Gunman Killed In Pentagon Shooting MyFox DC Mar 5, 2010. Accessed Friday, Mar 5, 2010
  4. ^ a b Official: Pentagon shooter was well armed Associated Press on www.chron.com March 5, 2010. Retrieved March 5, 2010.
  5. ^ Shooting at Pentagon Metro (January 29, 2010). "BREAKING NEWS – Three Shot At Pentagon Metro". Arlnow.com. Archived from the original on March 9, 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  6. ^ "Pentagon shooter was SJSU engineering student, troubled with drug problem". San Jose Mercury. March 5, 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2010. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Flaherty, Mary Pat; Harris, Hamil R. (March 6, 2010). "Home /News /Nation /Washington Gunman troubled, friends say". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on March 8, 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  8. ^ "Pentagon shooter had history of mental health problems". CNN. March 6, 2010. Archived from the original on March 7, 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  9. ^ Irving, Doug; Salvador Hernandez. "O.C. court filing: Pentagon shooter bipolar". Orange County Register. Archived from the original on March 6, 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  10. ^ "Pentagon gunman had a history of mental illness". Statesman.com. Archived from the original on March 14, 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  11. ^ Eric Van Susteren and Anna-Maria Kostovska (March 8, 2010), Report: Bipolar disorder may not have affected Bedell's behavior, Spartan Daily, archived from the original on March 10, 2010, retrieved March 8, 2010
  12. ^ John Patrick Bedell. "J. Patrick Bedell". LinkedIn. Retrieved March 5, 2010.
  13. ^ Knickerbocker, Brad (March 6, 2010). "Political extremism: Not so easy to categorize". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on March 8, 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  14. ^ Stone, Andrea (March 5, 2008), "Pentagon Shooter Saw Vast Gov't Conspiracies", AOL News, archived from the original on March 8, 2010, retrieved March 5, 2010
  15. ^ a b c J. Patrick Bedell. "John Patrick Bedell Blogspot Page: Rothbardix — Technology for Liberty and Justice". Blogspot. Retrieved March 5, 2010.
  16. ^ J. Patrick Bedell. "John Patrick Bedell Facebook Page". Facebook. Retrieved March 5, 2010.
  17. ^ Openinsurgent project, Google Code, retrieved March 6, 2010
  18. ^ Rothbardix Linux, Release 0.0.2, rBuilder, March 15, 2007, archived from the original on March 5, 2010, retrieved March 6, 2010
  19. ^ Judith Evans (March 5, 2010). "Pentagon gunman blamed US government for September 11 attacks". The Times. London. Retrieved March 5, 2010.
  20. ^ John Patrick Bedell Interest Sparks Irvine Police Statement on Pentagon Shooter
  21. ^ Grier, Peter (March 5, 2010). "John Patrick Bedell: Did right-wing extremism lead to shooting?". CSMonitor.com. Archived from the original on March 7, 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  22. ^ Miller, Carlin DeGuerin (March 5, 2010). "John Patrick Bedell: Rants on Wikipedia and YouTube May Have Foreshadowed Breakdown". CBS News. Archived from the original on March 10, 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  23. ^ Dreazen, Yochi J.; T.W. Farnam; Stu Woo (March 6, 2010). "Suspect's Parents Warned Police". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on March 7, 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2010.