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Neighbors of White House Suspect Know Little of Him

May 24, 1995

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) _ Neighbors of an armed man shot after scaling the White House fence Tuesday night were shocked to learn that Leland William Modjeski was involved, but said they knew little about him.

Modjeski and a woman who neighbors assumed to be his wife have lived in a quiet townhouse community about 10 miles west of Washington for several years, according to Meredith Kimbro, an Interior Department employee who lives next door.

``I was very surprised,″ she said. ``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.

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

Another neighbor, software engineer Greg Brooks, said the woman he took to be Modjeski’s wife, is named Rose Mary, but knew little about the couple.

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. Neither of the couple’s two cars was parked outside.

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.

Kimbro said she had driven downtown to work this week, but avoided the area around the White House because of the new traffic restrictions on Pennsylvania Avenue.

``I was sorry they had to do it _ kind of shutting down part of main street,″ 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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