Va. man charged in 2010 DC-area military shootings

June 23, 2011 - 10:45 AM
Pentagon Suspicious Vehicle

FILE - This undated file photo released by the Leesburg, (Va.) Police Department shows Yonathan Melaku, 22, of Alexandria, Va., after his May 2011 arrest in Loudoun County, Va., charged with four counts of grand larceny. Melaku who was detained during a security scare near the Pentagon last week has been linked to the shootings last year at the Marine Corps museum in Quantico and several D.C.-area military recruitment stations, officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Leesburg Police Department, File)

LEESBURG, Va. (AP) — A Marine reservist whose behavior prompted a security scare last week at the Pentagon has been charged in a series of shootings at military buildings in the Washington area last year.

Federal prosecutors on Thursday charged 22-year-old Yonathan Melaku, of Alexandria, Va., with discharging a firearm during a crime of violence and shooting at United States property, causing damage.

Melaku was charged in five shootings at military buildings last fall, including the National Museum of the Marine Corps and a Marine recruiting station. No one was injured.

He was detained for trespassing on Friday after authorities found him in the middle of the night inside Arlington National Cemetery. Court papers say he was carrying spent shell casings and a notebook containing references to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.