Man Arrested In Alleged Threat Against Shultz
WASHINGTON (AP) _ An unemployed chemist armed with three guns and at least 600 bullets was arrested Tuesday after allegedly telling his mother he was going to kill Secretary of State George P. Shultz, authorities said, adding that the man had allegedly made threats to his mother about President Reagan.
Edward Lewis Gallo, 41, of Worcester, Mass., who is said to distrust politicians, was taken into custody at a local hotel and charged with making a threat against a public official.
An AR-15 rifle, which is the non-automatic, civilian version of the .223- caliber M-16, two shotguns and 600 to 700 rounds of ammunition were removed from Gallo’s car.
Speaking briefly to reporters as he was being led by police to be booked, Gallo said, ″I’m a tourist. I don’t know ... I’m a tourist on vacation. I’ve been down here on vacation two or three other times.″
Asked about weapons, Gallo said, ″I was going to go hunting. That’s why I’m on vacation.″
Gallo was taken by police from a hotel in northeast Washington, several miles away from the State Department, after a brief struggle outside his room at about 7:50 a.m. The hotel’s 22 guests were evacuated, according to police spokesman Wendell Samuels.
Several blocks of New York Avenue were closed during the morning rush hour, creating a huge traffic backup on the major commuter thoroughfare.
Sgt. Michael Vacca of the Worcester Police Department said in a telephone interview he was told by members of the Gallo family that the suspect had recently lost his job as a chemist for the city of Worcester and was ″pretty unstable.″
Vacca said he was told that Gallo left home Monday with a gun wrapped in his army jacket.
He said he knew nothing about Gallo’s political affiliations. He said Gallo’s mother and a sister of the suspect in Pennsylvania had mentioned that Shultz might be a potential target, Vacca said.
Gallo’s mother told a State Department investigator in Massachusetts on Sunday that her son left their home with his guns wrapped in a fatigue jacket, according to court papers.
His last words to his mother were ″Shultz, you’re dead,″ the papers said.
Rose Gallo also said her son had told her several days earlier, ″Kill, kill Reagan.″
Vacca added that Gallo would spend his time watching television news shows and often became quite upset.
″He distrusted politicians in general and said he was going out to kill politicians,″ Vacca said he was told.
State Department spokesman Charles Redman said that the department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security increased its protection of Shultz and launched an investigation after being tipped by the Worcester police on Monday.
U.S. Magistrate Jean Dwyer ordered Gallo held without bond and ordered him to undergo psychiatric evaluation after he was charged with transporting a weapon across state lines to carry out a threat against a public official.
Gallo, wearing a blue button-down shirt and brown corduroy pants, told the magistrate, ″My mother can probably arrange for a lawyer,″ but then accepted a court-appointed attorney for the time being when told his defense could be expensive.
In Worcester, there was some confusion before police learned Gallo had left the city. Election officials were led to believe Gallo was still in Worcester and posed a threat to some candidates in Tuesday’s city election.
They took the threat seriously and advised candidates not to stand outside polling places.
Police Deputy Chief Edward O’Brien said, ″We advised candidates not to stand outside, because of a crazy guy.″
Worcester Police Capt. Carlo Genatossio said Gallo apparently drove to Washington Monday after telling family members he was going to ″get a couple of politicians.″
He said a search of Gallo’s house turned up ″parts of weapons and other documentation.″