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Training death probed
FBI investigating shooting death of agent at Fort A. P. Hill.

Date published: 12/8/2006

By PAMELA GOULD

The FBI agent killed during Hostage Rescue Team training this week was wearing ballistic body armor, including a helmet, when he was accidentally shot.

Supervisory Special Agent Gregory J. Rahoi, 38, was fatally shot late Wednesday afternoon during training on one of the live-fire ranges at Fort A.P. Hill in Caroline County.

The last live-fire training accident at Fort A.P. Hill occurred in December 2000 when a Marine was killed, according to base spokesman Ken Perrotte.

The FBI would not provide details on the training being conducted this week. However, Agent Ann Todd, a bureau spokeswoman, said live-fire training is "a regular part of HRT training and has been since [the team's] inception."

The FBI's Inspection Division is conducting a review of the incident, as is standard any time bureau personnel fire a weapon, Todd said. She had no idea how long the review could take.

HRT is based at the FBI Academy on the grounds of Quantico Marine Corps Base. When not deployed, the team spends its time training at the academy, as well as sites across the country.

Rahoi was single. He grew up in the Milwaukee area and joined the FBI in April 1997. He spent the past six years as a member of HRT.

Todd said Wednesday "was a very sad day for the FBI."

Rahoi is the second HRT member to die in the line of duty. Both men died during training accidents.

Special Agent James K. McAllister died April 19, 1986, after falling from a helicopter on academy grounds.

Additionally, a third agent, who served on the SWAT team at his field office in Illinois, died from an injury received during training at the HRT facility dedicated in McAllister's memory.

Special Agent Robert R. Hardesty fell while training inside the Tactical Firearms Training Center. The 40-year-old died from his injuries on June 2, 2005.

HRT was created in 1983 to meet the nation's need for a domestic counterterrorism unit to address hostage situations.

Today, the team deploys worldwide and, as part of the FBI's Critical Incident Response Group, is charged with being able to depart to any crisis within four hours.

The team has responded more than 350 times on missions ranging from terrorism to violent crime to foreign counterintelligence investigations.

Training is aimed at preparing team members to deal with challenges such as barricade situations, manhunts, helicopter operations, cold-weather missions and weapons of mass destruction, according to the FBI's Web site.

To reach PAMELA GOULD: 540/735-1972
Email: pgould@freelancestar.com