WASHINGTON — A gunman who suffered delusions about being a general was shot to death Wednesday when he charged past Pentagon security guards and ran toward the National Military Command Center, authorities said.
The FBI identified him as Dwain Wallace, 30, of Youngstown, Ohio.
Pentagon sources said Wallace had told the guards that he "wanted to talk to somebody about missiles" before he bolted past the security checkpoint.
In Youngstown, friends and neighbors recalled Wallace as having seemed friendly and happy in high school, but said he recently had been under psychiatric care.
"He had a mental problem, and so he had hallucinations about who he was and what he was," his mother, Doris Wallace, told reporters outside her home Wednesday.
Asked to confirm reports that her son thought he was a general, she said, "Yes, he did."
The shooting occurred one floor below and directly beneath the offices of Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger, who was meeting with Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Lt. Gen. Colin Powell, chief deputy to National Security Adviser Frank C. Carlucci, Pentagon spokesman Marvin Braman said.
Braman said Weinberger, Shultz and Powell heard the shots. Pentagon officials said there was no evidence that Wallace was attempting to reach Weinberger.
William Caldwell, another Pentagon spokesman, and Susanne Murphy, a spokeswoman for the General Services Administration, said Wallace was shot about 30 feet inside the building's River Entrance, at the mouth of a corridor leading to the National Military Command Center.
The command center is a heavily secured area used by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Two shots were fired by one of the guards after Wallace bolted past the security checkpoint, produced a handgun and ignored orders to halt, spokesmen said. One of the bullets struck Wallace, who died later at National Orthopedic Hospital in nearby Arlington, Va.
The General Services Administration, which maintains the Pentagon building and provides Federal Protective Service guards for security, refused to identify the guard who shot Wallace.
The River Entrance is one of three main entrances to the Pentagon building and is the site for welcoming ceremonies for visiting dignitaries. It is normally staffed by two guards who check for building passes and who operate X-ray and metal-detector machines.
Murphy said Wallace was stopped by one of the guards and was asked for identification.
The National Military Command Center includes a number of offices, conference rooms and an area known as the "tank" or "war room," where the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff meet.