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Neighbors of White House Suspect Know Little of Him

May 24, 1995

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) _ Leland William Modjeski and his wife have lived in a quiet suburban neighborhood for several years, but neighbors knew little about the man shot by the Secret Service after scaling a fence and running toward the White House with a pistol.

``I was very surprised,″ Meredith Kimbro, an Interior Department employee who lives next door, said early today. ``There was certainly nothing to indicate any political motivation. I wouldn’t know whether they voted Democrat or Republican. I know very little about them.

``I probably exchanged no more than three sentences at any one time. (He was) just very quiet and our schedules weren’t the same.″

Kimbro and other residents said they didn’t know what Modjeski did for a living. A law enforcement source who spoke on condition of anonymity said Modjeski had recently lost a job as a pizza delivery man.

``We don’t know anything about him,″ said Julie Brooks, 27, an accountant who lives two doors down. ``Everybody else on the street keeps to themselves.″

A third neighbor, software engineer Greg Brooks, said the woman neighbors assume is Modjeski’s wife, is named Rose Mary.

Secret Service agents, accompanied by Fairfax County police, went to the door at the Modjeski townhouse at 1:23 a.m., but did not attempt to enter when there was no answer. At daybreak, the woman left the home with officers but her whereabouts were not immediately known.

Modjeski was being treated for a bullet wound at George Washington Hospital, along with a Secret Service officer also wounded in the incident late Tuesday night.

Ms. Kimbro said she had been awakened by a television reporter with the news of the White House incident. ``I was almost relieved at first that it wasn’t a death in the family, then I was just flabbergasted,″ she said.

Neither Fairfax County police nor Falls Church police had any records on Modjeski.

Secret Service officials said they also know little about him. Carl Meyer, a Secret Service spokesman, said Modjeski was not on the list of people considered a risk to the president. ``He’s not one we’ve been watching.″

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