It was the Boston Market from hell.
After an alleged shooting spree that stretched from Thursday evening into Friday afternoon, killing three and wounding three, federal law enforcement officer Eulalio Tordil cooly walked across the street for lunch.
Loitering near the scene of the crime, Tordil lingered for a chilling one-hour meal at the same chain restaurant where the D.C. Beltway snipers had eaten after they started a shooting rampage that terrorized the region in the fall of 2002.
Tordil was a Federal Protection Service officer placed on administrative leave in March after a protective order was issued against him by his wife, whom he is suspected of killing Thursday night.
The officer’s alleged spree ended after a series of apparently random shootings, concluding in Aspen Hill, the same Washington suburb near where the D.C. Beltway snipers had shot one of their first victims nearly 14 years ago.
“When Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad committed those murders in Aspen Hill, they actually went and did not leave the area, and they ate in the same restaurant,” state's attorney for Montgomery County John McCarthy told the press Friday. “Same Boston Market, we were in the same parking lot during the sniper shootings.”
McCarthy dismissed this as a mere coincidence, since there was some indication that Tordil had lived in the neighborhood in the past and “came back to the neighborhood, I believe, that he was familiar with."
But the cold indifference with which the alleged gunman apparently ate lunch Friday after a series of shootings, which yet again terrorized this neighborhood, brought violent flashbacks to a time in the early 2000s when men and women in this area were too petrified even to pump their gas, lest they become victims of a random sniper.
As Tordil ate lunch Friday, he gave no indication that he had just allegedly shot a woman in the parking lot of a Giant supermarket across the street. He had even stopped casually for a coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts along the way, raising no suspicion among the general public.
But plainclothes officers who canvassed the area after the shooting noticed a silver car matching the tag and description of a vehicle related to Thursday evening’s killing of Tordil’s wife, local authorities said. They silently observed Tordil for more than hour before confronting and arresting him without further violence.
More disturbing even than Tordil’s apparent nonchalance after a shooting spree is that he had been a law enforcement officer, one whose estranged wife filed a domestic-violence claim against him. His employers at the Department of Homeland Security had placed him on administrative duties as a result.
“In March, FPS placed him on administrative duties after a protective order was issued against him, and removed his duty weapon, badge, and credentials. He was subsequently placed on administrative leave,” a Federal Protective Service official told The Daily Beast.
Tordil was twice divorced—once in 1994 and again in 2003—before marrying his current wife, Gladys Ubaldo, court records show. By June 2015, Tordil’s third marriage appeared to be headed toward separation, when his estranged wife Gladys filed to change her last name to Ubaldo, Prince George’s County circuit court records show. A judge granted the name in September.
But Tordil did not want a third divorce, Ubaldo told officials six months later, when she filed a domestic violence claim accusing Tordil of a decade of child abuse and “intense-military-like discipline,” The Washington Post reported. According to the Post, Tordil kept at least four guns in the home, and warned Ubaldo that he would hurt her if she ever attempted to leave him.
The Prince George’s County District Court granted Ubaldo’s protective order against Tordil, prohibiting him from contacting her or approaching her home, her workplace, or their children’s school. The court also ordered that Tordil surrender his firearms.
Tordil had more guns than Ubaldo reported: at least seven, including a FPS-issued firearm, which he surrendered after the domestic violence suit. Police do not know what gun Tordil allegedly used during the shooting spree, they told WTOP.
When he surrendered his gun, Tordil told colleagues he wanted to commit “suicide by cop,” The Washington Post reported. One of his coworkers says he wrote a suicide note to his “brothers in blue,” asking forgiveness for his actions.
The violence began when Gladys Ubaldo, Tordil’s wife, left work to pick up her children at high school Thursday evening, WTOP reported, but Tordil followed her to the school parking lot, where they began arguing. A man tried to intervene, but Tordil shot him, before shooting and killing Ubaldo.
The subsequent shootings were apparently random, law enforcement authorities say: “We don’t know of any connection” between the victims of Friday’s shootings and the suspect, Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger told the press, although he said the matter was still under investigation.
Meanwhile, at two Maryland high schools—one where Tordil’s two daughters studied, and one where his wife taught—classes are scheduled to resume Monday. But some students are missing a teacher, and Tordil’s two daughters, both seniors, are missing two parents.