Man Denied Enlistment in Military Returns to Recruitment Center, Does the Unthinkable

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A North Carolina man who had been rejected by the Army was later arrested after firing a gun into the recruiting station in Greensboro where he had been turned down, according to police.

James Alexander Cooper, 36, was facing six counts of assault with a deadly weapon, discharging a firearm into occupied property, discharging a firearm in city limits and carrying a concealed weapon, The News & Observer in Raleigh reported.

Although four Marines and two sailors were in the recruiting center at the time of the Dec. 14 incident, no one was injured, according to Stars and Stripes.

The center has recruiters for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

Kelli Bland, a spokeswoman for Army Recruiting Command, confirmed Dec. 17 that the “suspect in police custody had applied to join the Army and was disqualified,” Stars and Stripes reported.

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She said she could not reveal why he was not accepted for enlistment.

The report said Cooper already faced several felony charges in North Carolina that include auto theft and charges related to fraud and forgery. Charges such as those would mean an applicant would not be accepted.

Video of the incident and images of the damage it caused were posted on Twitter.

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The gunfire shattered doors to the recruiting center. From the images, it appeared that at least one round struck a cubicle inside.

Bland noted that additional protections provided at recruiting centers after past shootings helped avoid injury.

“Our leaders and personnel are constantly evaluating the current environment to ensure we are taking the appropriate measures to protect our force at recruiting stations across the country,” she told Stars and Stripes.

“While I can’t get into the specific force protection measures in place at each of our stations, I can tell you we focus on visibility, access control, and physical protection measures,” Bland said.

Army officials said recruiters were back at the station Dec. 16 after working remotely the day after the shooting.

Cooper was being held in the Greensboro jail on $160,000 bond.

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