A federal law enforcement officer sought in the fatal shootings of his estranged wife at a school, a man at a mall parking lot and a woman outside a grocery store has been arrested, police in Maryland said Friday afternoon.
Eulalio Tordil, 62, was taken into custody without incident after police spotted him inside a business close to the grocery store, Montgomery County police Chief J. Thomas Manger said at a news conference.
Police waited about an hour to make the arrest, fearing Tordil was armed, and closed in when he got into his vehicle, Manger said. A weapon was found in the vehicle, he said.
Tordil is an employee of the Federal Protective Service, which protects federal facilities and is part of Homeland Security.
In March, he was placed on administrative duties and stripped of his gun and badge, the Washington Post reported. The actions were taken after a court issued a protective order sought by his estranged wife over alleged abuse of his children, the newspaper reported.
Estranged wife obtained protective order
In March 2016, a Prince George’s County district judge ordered that Eulalio Tordil have no contact with his estranged wife, Gladys Tordil, and two minors thought to be their children.
According to the court documents, Tordil had access to at least three revolvers, which the court ordered him only to carry only during work and to leave at his workplace. The FPS said it removed his duty weapon, badge and credentials after the protective order.
Gladys alleged that Eulalio “has been subjecting them to intense military-like discipline — push ups, detention in dark closet,” according to the order. She said, “He threatened to harm me if I leave him,” the documents say.
Charges against the man are expected to be filed later Friday.
First shooting at high school
All the shootings happened in parking lots. Besides those killed, three people were wounded. Police said they didn’t know whether Tordil had a relationship with any of the other people who were shot.
Law enforcement authorities had been looking for Tordil since Thursday, when Gladys Tordil, 44, was killed outside High Point High School in Beltsville in adjacent Prince George’s County, police said. The school was one of the places Tordil was ordered to stay away from in the court order.
It appeared Tordil followed her to the school property as she came to pick up her children and confronted her as she sat in her car, police said.
A passerby was shot as he tried to intervene and suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to a police report. After the wife was shot multiple times, the gunman left the scene, police said.
On Friday morning, one man was fatally shot outside Westfield Montgomery mall in Bethesda, according to police. A man and woman were wounded, police said, and the man is now in critical condition.
While police were investigating that shooting, they heard about another shooting outside the Giant supermarket in Aspen Hill, Manger said. Officers found a woman fatally shot inside her vehicle.
Officers searching for the apparent suspect found his vehicle in a nearby parking lot, then spotted him inside businesses, he said.
Manger said police decided not to confront Tordil right away because they thought he was armed. The suspect spent about an hour in various businesses and ate lunch at a Boston Market, the chief said.
“He was walking from store to store and at no point was it safe for us to take him into custody until we did,” Manger said. “We needed to make sure the public was safe when we took him into custody.”
When the suspect got in his car, police blocked the vehicle and made the arrest, the official said.
Tordil is expected in court at 1 p.m. Monday in Rockville District Court, police said.
Remembering the Beltway Snipers
The area where Tordil was arrested had significance for residents of the District of Columbia.
The D.C. Beltway Snipers, who killed 10 people in 2002, passed through the area, said Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy at the news conference.
“They ate in the same restaurant where we were having the surveillance today, which was an irony that was not lost on me,” he said.
During three weeks in October 2002, John Allen Muhammad and accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo, then 17, killed 10 people and wounded three, while taunting police with written messages and phoned-in threats and demands.
Muhammed was executed in 2009. Malvo is serving a life sentence.