(Suitland, MD – April 10, 2015) – A kidnapping. A shooting of a policeman. A police chase. A shootout with police. A dead suspect.
That’s what happened, by the numbers, last night at the Census Bureau.
What officials believe began as a domestic dispute injured two policemen, one fatally. Census security guard Lawrence Buckner was shot and killed during the melee. A DC police officer was wounded in the leg.
Officials immediately discounted terrorism as a motive.
“Terrorists try and divide us,” said a Department of Commerce (DOC) spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “This wasn’t aimed at average, ordinary, everyday Americans. This was obviously a domestic dispute that turned very ugly.”
“I don’t know,” said a spokesman for Bucker’s family, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I’m pretty sure Officer Buckner was terrified as this assailant pointed a gun at him and pulled the trigger.”
The suspect, 48-year-old Ronald Anderson, forced a woman into a car at 5:30pm. She escaped sometime before the final shootout, and was found unharmed later.
As the two-hour chain of events unfolded, Census employees were forced to shelter in place. The “all clear” was not given to employees until 9:00pm.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) staff were involved in the investigation, though the official ATF statement would neither confirm nor deny its participation.
“Maybe we are involved, maybe we aren’t involved,” said an ATF spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity.
DCPD officials combed the area through the night to collect evidence and find any clues as to Anderson’s motive, producing – among other things – 27 8″×10″ color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one.
“We don’t know why Anderson chose to have a shootout just outside a Federal agency,” said a DCPD spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It just doesn’t add up.”
The Census Bureau opened today on a two-hour delay. In general, Census employees were shocked at the whole episode, but the consensus was the knowledge that it could have been much worse.
“We’re located in such a beautiful, quiet, slice of heaven neighborhood,” said a Census spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “This kind of thing is something we normally don’t count on.”