GAITHERSBURG—Police have charged Eulalio Tordil, 62, with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and four counts of a using a firearm in the commission of a felony, after a two-day shooting spree.
Tordil has been charged in Montgomery County with the murders of 45-year-old Malcolm Winffel of Boyds and 65-year-old Claudina Molina of Silver Spring, from two shootings at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda and Aspen Hill Shopping Center.
Police said that there are two other victims from the shooting at Montgomery Mall, one whom was last reported to be in critical condition as of Friday afternoon, while the other has non-life threatening injuries. Police said they have not released either victim’s name at this point, as they are still witnesses to the case.
Assistant Chief Russ Hamill, head of the investigative services bureau for Montgomery County Police said in a news conference Saturday evening that Winffel and the other unnamed male victim were shot while trying to assist the female victim at Montgomery Mall.
Hamill said that the acts from Winffel and the other male victim likely saved the female victim’s life.
“These men are heroes,” Hamill said. “Malcolm Winffel gave his life for somebody he doesn’t know in order to protect her from a predator.”
According to police, none of the victims in the shootings from Montgomery Mall or Aspen Hill Shopping Center had a connection to Tordil, and that the motivation in each instance was likely an attempted carjacking.
Tordil is also being charged for the murder of his estranged wife Gladys Tordil and the shooting of a “good Samaritan” which took place Thursday evening at High Point High School in Beltsville.
Montgomery County Police and Prince George’s County Police worked together on the investigation to arrest Tordil. Hamill said that since the first murder occurred on Thursday evening, both departments had been in contact with one another sharing information.
Eerily, one of the shootings occurred in the same area of Aspen Hill as the D.C. Sniper shootings in 2002. After the shooting at Aspen Hill Shopping Center, Tordil proceeded to a Dunkin’ Donuts and the same Boston Market restaurant in Northgate Plaza that convicted killers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo dined at during their sniper attacks.
“We thought that immediately,” Hamill said on the connection between the D.C. Sniper and Tordil’s shootings. “And my belief is that it is just pure coincidence.”
Police said they identified Tordil and tracked him while he was inside Boston Market, and waited for him to exit the restaurant and to enter his car before moving in to arrest him.
After Tordil entered his car, police moved in and surrounded Tordil, blocking him in his vehicle. Neither Tordil nor any of the police officers were injured in the arrest. In his car, police found the weapon used in the murders at Montgomery Mall and Aspen Hill Shopping Center, a .40-caliber Glock, model 27.
“Those plainclothes officers put themselves in direct risk at that point because that’s what they signed on to do in order to stop anybody else from being hurt by a known, armed murderer,” Hamill said.
Hamill said it is unclear whether Tordil obtained the weapon legally or not, but police have matched the forensic evidence from the gun to the murder at Montgomery Mall and Aspen Hill and said that it is likely also the weapon used in the shooting of his estranged wife.
Hamill said that after he was arrested, Tordil did speak with investigators and that he did not seem remorseful for the shootings.
Chris Mejia, a 17-year-old student at High Point High School, was at the news conference on Saturday night. Mejia said he knew Gladys Tordil’s two daughters and was there to gather information on their behalf. He also knew Gladys Tordil and described her as “a very nice person.”
Mejia added that he was attempting to raise money for Gladys Tordil’s funeral services.
Mejia said he was on the tennis courts at High Point High School when the shooting at that location happened. He said he heard the gunshots, but thought at the time they might have been firecrackers.
Eulalio Tordil is being held without bond and will have a bond review Monday, May 9 at the Montgomery County District Court in Rockville.