WASHINGTON — A Massachusetts man who allegedly told his mother he was heading to Washington to kill Secretary of State George P. Shultz was arrested in his motel room today after Secret Service agents were tipped to his whereabouts, authorities said.
Arrested and charged with making a threat against a public official was Edward Lewis Gallo, 41, of Worcester, Mass.
Police said officers removed an M-16 assault rifle and two shotguns from the trunk of Gallo's car.
A State Department official said security around Shultz was strengthened Monday after it was learned Gallo had made the threat.
The official said Gallo's mother had notified Worcester police, who told the FBI.
Sgt. Michael Vacca of the Worcester Police Department said he was told by members of the Gallo family that the suspect was an unemployed chemist who distrusted politicians.
"He had recently lost his job and was pretty unstable," Vacca said, adding that Gallo was said to have left home Monday with a gun wrapped in his army jacket.
He added that Gallo spent 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.
Gallo was arrested after police evacuated the motel's other 22 guests.
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."