Police have arrested a federal officer suspected in a two-day shooting rampage in Washington DC that killed his wife and two apparent strangers and revived memories of the "Beltway sniper" attacks of 2002.
Three others were wounded in the three separate attacks.
Eulalio Sevilla Tordil (Reuters)
Eulalio Sevilla Tordil, 62, a police officer with the US Department of Homeland Security's Federal Protective Service, was arrested in a doughnut shop near the site of the second of Saturday's two shootings, police said.
He had been suspected of killing his wife and shooting a bystander on Friday in Prince George's County, Maryland.
When two more shootings broke out in neighbouring Montgomery County on Saturday, investigators turned their attention to Tordil, who had threatened to commit "suicide by cop", police said.
A plainclothes officer spotted Tordil in a Dunkin' Donuts store.
Police kept him under watch as he walked in and out of stores, but waited until he returned to his car before arresting him, Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger told a news conference.
"We did not want to have a shootout when he was taken into custody," Manger said.
Surrounded by officers with their weapons drawn, Tordil surrendered without a fight after about five minutes, police said.
Charges were expected to be filed on Saturday and Tordil would appear in court on Tuesday, Montgomery County prosecutor John McCarthy said.
The first of Saturday's incidents began with a confrontation in a parking lot at Westfield Montgomery Mall in affluent Bethesda, Maryland, where two men and a woman were shot, police said.
One of the men died, the other was in critical condition, and the woman's life was not considered in danger, police said.
The second shooting took place about half an hour later, killing a woman at the Aspen Hill Shopping Center in Silver Spring, some 13km away.
The victim of Friday's shooting was Tordil's estranged wife, Gladys, a high school chemistry teacher who was shot as she went to pick up their two daughters from another school.
Tordil was on leave, having surrendered his gun and badge after his wife obtained a protective order to keep him away, an official with the Federal Protective Service said.
The three-week Beltway sniper ordeal in 2002 rattled Washington and its suburbs until John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, who was 17 at the time, were captured. Malvo was sentenced to life and Muhammad, a Gulf War veteran, was executed in 2009.