JACKSONVILLE, Ark. — The armed man who was shot and critically wounded while trying to get into Little Rock Air Force Base had no ties to terrorist groups, and a search of his home and vehicle turned up no explosives, authorities said Tuesday.
The FBI identified the man as 43-year-old Larry McElroy of Jacksonville, the city that abuts the sprawling base. Investigators have said he drove his SUV over a curb outside the base's main gate on Monday and struck a street sign, then was shot by guards after he exited the vehicle holding a rifle.
"There was no apparent motive nor any ties to terrorism," the FBI said in a statement released Tuesday morning.
McElroy, a civilian, remained in critical condition Tuesday at a Little Rock hospital, according the statement.
The FBI said bomb squads didn't find any explosives in his vehicle or his home in Jacksonville, the city that abuts the base about 15 miles northeast of Little Rock. The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office said it helped secure a property searched by the FBI shortly after the shooting, and public records show that a Larry D. McElroy Jr., 43, lives at that home.
The agency didn't release any details about McElroy, though court records show that he and a woman who lived with him at his Jacksonville home filed for bankruptcy in 2010. They reported more than $112,000 in assets and more than $230,000 in liabilities. An attorney who represented McElroy in that case, Mary Ellen Vandegrift, declined to comment Tuesday.
The base commander, Col. Charles Brown Jr, said Monday that it was unclear whether the man fired his weapon, how many shots were fired or if the man exchanged words with the two guards before the shooting. The base didn't immediately respond to a message seeking updates Tuesday from The Associated Press.
Brown also said it was unclear why McElroy wanted to get on the base, which is a major C-130 training facility and home to more than 8,000 active-duty military personnel and civilian employees. The C-130, an aircraft with a roughly 129-foot wingspan capable of carrying more than 40,000 pounds, is used to move troops and equipment into hostile areas.
The incident was reported around 9:15 a.m. near the main gate along busy U.S. 67 in Jacksonville. Heavily armed security personnel quickly sealed off access to the base, and the main gate was closed for several hours.
The commander said as the SUV approached, it hit and jumped a curb and knocked over a street sign. He said the man, whom Brown only described as white, then started to get out of the vehicle while holding a rifle.
"It appears he may have lost control of the vehicle," Brown said.
No one from the base was injured, and investigators were interviewing the guards, Brown said.
A bomb squad could be seen checking an SUV parked near a curb and sidewalk outside a visitor center at the base's main gate Monday afternoon. All four of its doors, along with its tailgate, were opened, and officials told those standing nearby to take cover behind other vehicles as workers wearing ordnance-disposal gear approached the vehicle.
Associated Press writer Allen Reed contributed to this report from Little Rock.
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