Frederick Police released the first photo of shooting suspect Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet this afternoon, the day after they say he shot two Navy sailors and was fatally gunned down at Fort Detrick.
Woldesenbet, a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman, allegedly wounded two people at a military installation about 10 minutes from Fort Detrick, a U.S. Army base where he worked Tuesday, April 6, 2021. He was shot and killed at the base when officials said he fled a stop at a checkpoint and brandished a gun at about 8:45 a.m. He was 38 and lived in Frederick. The two injured victims survived. Their names have not been released.
Here’s what you need to know:
Law Enforcement Released a Joint Statement April 7 Releasing the First Photo of Woldesenbet But Added No New Information
The Frederick Police Department, Fort Detrick and the Federal Bureau of Investigations Baltimore Field Office released an image of Woldesenbet on the afternoon of April 7, 2021, more than 24 hours after he allegedly opened fire at Riverside Tech Park in Frederick and then died after reportedly brandishing a gun at Fort Detrick.
“Frederick Police Department, in coordination with cooperating agencies investigating an active shooter incident Tuesday, is releasing the photo of subject Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet, 38, of Frederick, who was shot and killed by Fort Detrick’s civilian military police after initially shooting two people in the 8400 Block of Progress Drive and then driving onto Fort Detrick,” the press release said.
The statement continued with an acknowledgment of the limited information that has been released, but said they want to maintain the integrity of the investigation. It further said that the public should rely on information from trusted sources and avoid rumors.
The statement said:
Additionally, our agencies know the public and the media want answers regarding this incident and the subsequent investigation. We do as well. Investigations take time. When the agencies have information that we have confirmed we will release it via the FPD’s news alert system, which everyone, including media partners, can sign up for at cityoffrederickmd.gov/alerts.
Until then, we want to ensure the public we are investigating this incident from all angles and we encourage all residents and media partners to avoid speculation or rumors regarding details of the investigation. Unverified misinformation can prove harmful to the investigation.
Images Circulated on Social Media Showing Men Who Were Not the Suspect in the Shooting
Social media ran rampant in the hours after the shooting, sharing photos of men who were not the shooting suspect and claiming they showed the shooter.
One of the most common images circulating online showed Marquis Poteat, a man who was arrested in South Carolina on the day of the shooting. Poteat, 33, was charged in the death of Frankye Duckett. Duckett was shot and killed earlier in 2021 while he was working as an MTA mobility driver in Baltimore, according to CBS Local.
“That’s not Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet,” wrote freelance crime reporter Ethan Biando. “The photo you’ve linked is Marquis Poteat, a man accused of fatally shooting an MTA Mobility driver.”
Another image showed a different man with the same name. The other man is a doctor who works for a company called called BioInnovate Africa as a team leader to support biorefineries producing syrups in rain-fed communities in Africa, his profile says.
“He is a Researcher and Director at the Industrial Biotechnology Directorate, Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute. His research focus are in industrial biotechnology, enzyme technology, bioremediation, fermentation technology and agro-residue conversion,” says to profile for Dr. Fantahun Woldesenbet, who happens to have the same first and last name as the shooting suspect. “He has led and managed research programs both at national and international levels. He has also worked at Arba Minch University, Ethiopia as a lecturer and as assistant professor, and served at various administration posts as associate registrar, faculty dean and research director at the institution.”
“#FACTCHECK: This isn’t Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet, the deceased suspect in the Fort Detrick shooting,” Biando wrote. “This man is Dr. Fantahun Woldesenbet, a doctor working for a company called BioInnovate Africa.”