The Northern Virginia Military Shooting Series: Operational Validation of Geospatial Predictive Analytics

In October 2010, someone deliberately fired a number of rounds at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia. This was the beginning of a series of shootings that targeted multiple locations of interest to the military in northern Virginia. Five shooting incidents occurred over the next several weeks, targeting the U.S Marine Corps (USMC) Museum, the Pentagon, and Marine Corps and Coast Guard recruiting stations, after which the shooter went dormant.

More than six months later, on June 17, 2011, Yonathan Melaku, a former Marine Corps reservist, was apprehended in Arlington Cemetery. Searches of his backpack and home revealed bomb-making materials; instructions for making improvised explosive devices (IEDs); videotaped evidence of the shootings; extremist materials; and spray paint, which he planned to use to vandalize markers in the cemetery.1 He subsequently plead guilty to the series of shootings.