Guard Opens Fire on Colleague Outside Military Medical Center

WASHINGTON -- An armed security guard fired at least 10 shots at another guard during an argument outside a busy entrance to Walter Reed Army Medical Center early Wednesday, police said. No one was hurt.

"This was rush hour on a busy thoroughfare. There were cars and pedestrians in the line of fire," said police Cmdr. Hilton Burton. At least two parked cars across the street were hit.

The guard who was fired upon ran to a nearby house to call police. The other guard, Dwan Thigpen, 34, of Fort Washington, Md., was arrested and charged with assault with intent to murder. He was scheduled to appear in court Thursday, police said. Police and jail officials did not know whether Thigpen had an attorney.

A Walter Reed surveillance video of the shooting shows two civilians ducking to avoid the gunfire, Burton said. It also shows the two security guards arguing, and a third guard trying to break up the altercation.

"There is a brief struggle between the security guard and the suspect, where the third guard is apparently trying to stop the suspect from taking his gun out of his holster," Burton said.

The video then shows the first guard pulling out the gun, a 9 mm Beretta, and chasing and firing at the victim, and the victim running and trying to get out of the way, Burton said.

Police were still reviewing the video, and there were no immediate plans to release it.

The guards worked for Vance Federal Security Services, said Joe Gavaghan, a spokesman for the company, which contracts with Walter Reed. Vance is "cooperating with authorities investigating this incident," said Gavaghan, adding that the company could not provide additional details.

The hospital is the Army's premier center for treating injured soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.


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