One Sailor Remains Hospitalized in Critical Condition, One Released Following Fort Detrick Shooting

April 7, 2021 4:27 PM
Fort Detrick officials opened the new Nallin Farm Gate to the workforce and public on April 10, 2015. US Army photo.

One sailor remains in critical condition and a second has been released from the hospital, after a third sailor shot them at a warehouse near Fort Detrick and was then killed by security officers at the Army installation.

The Navy today identified the two injured sailors as Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Carlo Reyes Portugal, 36, and Hospitalman Casey Austin Nutt, 26.

Both were flown to the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore after their coworker, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet, shot them around 8:20 a.m. at a warehouse used by their command to store medical supplies.

Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet

Nutt was released from the hospital last night, the Navy announced, while Portugal remains in the hospital in critical condition.

All three sailors were assigned to the Naval Medical Research Center, Biological Defense Research Directorate located at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md.

A Navy spokesman told USNI News on Tuesday that the warehouse is not staffed regularly and does not include any office space. Frederick police and Fort Detrick officials have not said why Woldesenbet was at the warehouse to begin with – whether he was supposed to be there for work or went there specifically to attack colleagues – or speculated on any kind of motive.

Woldesenbet shot the two sailors with a rifle, Frederick Police Chief Jason Lando told reporters yesterday. He then drove to the Army installation, breached the gate security, and was encountered and shot by an Army garrison security team just minutes later. Efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a news release today, the Frederick Police Department said that Nutt fled the scene of the shooting and was found by employees of a local business, Nicolock Paving Stones. “There was a shooting within the industrial park where the Nicolock facility is located, and a victim entered our property seeking help. Our team was able to assist them and called the authorities,” reads a Tuesday morning statement from the company, located just across the street from the Riverside Technology Park where the Navy’s warehouse was located.

FPD added that Portugal was found inside the warehouse and remains in critical condition today.

Nutt, from Texas, enlisted in the Navy in February 2018 and is in his first job since completing his training and education to serve as a hospital corpsman. He has been assigned to the Navy Medical Research Center at Fort Detrick since October 2019.

Portugal, from Pennsylvania, enlisted in the Navy in March 2006 and was promoted to the rank of hospital corpsman 1st class in March 2020. He worked at the National Naval Medical Center Bethesda’s Marine Corps Units Detachment from December 2006 to December 2008 and then spent the past decade serving in Okinawa, Japan – working for 3rd Marine Logistics Group, the U.S. Armed Services Blood Bank Center in Okinawa, and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. He joined the staff at Fort Detrick six months ago.

“We send our deepest condolences to all affected by this terrible act of violence and will continue to support the investigation,” reads a Navy statement in the FPD news release.
“A Navy Medicine special psychiatric rapid intervention team (SPRINT) has been sent to Fort Detrick to provide counseling support for individuals affected by this tragic event and they will work with local Army Chaplains and other support services on Fort Detrick to ensure those in need of care get the support they need.”

“On behalf of all the men and women of the Frederick Police Department, we would like to send our best wishes for a full recovery to both victims of yesterday’s shooting. Yesterday was a tragic day for our entire city, but even more so for those who were injured and for their families. Please know you and your loved ones are in our thoughts and prayers,” Lando, the Frederick police chief, said.

Megan Eckstein

Megan Eckstein

Megan Eckstein is the former deputy editor for USNI News.

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