ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — A federal security officer charged with killing three people, including his estranged wife, in a shooting rampage in Maryland should have surrendered all his guns as a result of a protective order but didn't, a prosecutor said Monday during a hearing in which the man was ordered held without bond.
Eulalio Tordil of Adelphi, an employee of the Federal Protective Service, appeared in court by video Monday afternoon in Rockville, Maryland. A public defender representing him, John Lavigne, conceded it wasn't realistic to ask for the 62-year-old, who is facing first-degree murder and other charges, to be released at this point.
In court, Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy called Tordil "very tough to track" after he shot his wife Thursday night at a high school. He was driving a rental car and had turned off his cell phone, McCarthy said. License plate reading devices showed Tordil had driven all over the region and into Virginia as law enforcement officers searched for him, McCarthy said. Officials searching for him also learned he had left notes suggesting he was suicidal and believed he would be killed by police, McCarthy said.
On Friday, less than 24 hours after killing his wife, Tordil fatally shot two more people during apparent carjacking attempts before being caught, McCarthy said. The shootings took place at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, and at a nearby shopping center. In the mall parking lot, charging documents allege Tordil confronted a woman returning to her silver Toyota RAV4. When she yelled for help, two men approached and Tordil shot her and them, killing 45-year-old Malcom Winffel of Boyds, the document alleges.
About a half hour later, an officer responding to a report of shots fired in a nearby shopping center found 65-year-old Claudina Molina of Silver Spring fatally shot inside her RAV4 in the parking lot near a supermarket, charging documents state.
Tordil's glasses were found inside Molina's vehicle and apparently knocked off in a struggle, McCarthy said. Tordil was later captured in an adjacent shopping center and the fact he lost his glasses and couldn't see to drive may have been why he stayed in the area, McCarthy said.
McCarthy said the weapon Tordil used in Friday's shootings, a .40-caliber Glock handgun, had been purchased before a protective order that required him to turn in his firearms and should have been handed over to law enforcement.
Tordil's wife obtained a protective order against him in March. She alleged in a court filing that her husband had threatened to harm her if she left him and had previously subjected their children to "intense-military-like discipline," such as pushups and detention in a dark closet. She also alleged Tordil had sexually abused his stepdaughters. When asked to list firearms Tordil owned or had access to she wrote: a .40-caliber and a .45-caliber weapon, revolvers, an M4 and a hunting gun.
A court document says Tordil was required to surrender all firearms but allowed to have his work-issued firearm while at work. The Federal Protective Service said last week that he was placed on administrative duties after the protective order was issued against him, and his duty weapon, badge, and credentials were taken. He was subsequently placed on administrative leave.
McCarthy said Tuesday that officials believe that in addition to the .40-caliber Glock, Tordil also had two other weapons not turned in to authorities, a hunting rifle and a handgun. McCarthy acknowledged during a press conference that officials rely to some extent on honesty in asking a person to turn over weapons, but noted that a person filing for a protective order may have a lot of information about the weapons the person they are seeking protection from has.
A spokeswoman for the Prince George's County sheriff's office, which initially notified Tordil of a temporary protective order and would have taken his weapons, did not immediately return a request a telephone message and e-mail requesting comment Monday.
The charges Tordil faces carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
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