Court docs: Man accused in shooting at Norfolk Social Security building has died


UPDATE March 15, 2021: The case against William D. Rankin was officially dismissed by a federal judge March 12, 2021.

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The man accused of shooting a 52-year-old security officer Feb. 8 at a U.S. Social Security Administration building in Norfolk has died.

Federal court paperwork says 44-year-old William D. Rankin died Wednesday at a hospital.

The statement on his death was filed as part of a motion by U.S. attorneys to dismiss the criminal complaint against Rankin.

According to the authorities, Rankin had been taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries after the shooting. Staff at the hospital pronounced him deceased Wednesday.

The security guard he injured in the shooting was taken to the hospital as well, but was expected to fully recover.

Rankin was charged by federal authorities Feb. 11 with attempted murder of a person assisting an officer or employee of the U.S. government in performance of official duties, possession and discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, assault of a person assisting an officer or employee of the U.S. government in performance of official duties, possession of firearms in a federal facility and felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Rankin brought about 600 rounds of ammunition, a 9 mm rifle, three sandwiches and three beers with him in a rifle bag just before he shot the security officer in the lobby area of the building.

Authorities said Rankin yelled that he wanted his money, then clarified he wanted his mother’s money.

The building was closed to the public at the time — and has been closed — due to the coronavirus pandemic. About 150 people work at that building, but the majority of them were not there on the day of the shooting. The guard told Rankin he would need to call the number on the door to address the issues he had with Social Security.

Rankin said he wouldn’t leave without getting his mother’s money, grew agitated and ordered the guard to put his weapon on the ground.

The guard did not remove his weapon from his holster, but attempted to calm Rankin without success.

Then, authorities said Rankin fired at least five rounds at the guard at close range, about 6 feet.

The officer fired back, seriously wounding Rankin.

Rankin faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life if he was convicted.

Stay with for updates.

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