When Gladys Tordil went to court in March to plead for protection against her husband, she portrayed him as a man who had menaced her and her two daughters for at least a decade.
Eulalio “Leo” Tordil, 62, a career law enforcement officer and former Army reservist with a black belt in aikido, subjected his stepdaughters to “intense-military-like discipline — push ups, detention in dark closet” and used violence against his wife, Gladys Tordil said in a petition for a restraining order filed in Prince George’s County District Court.
During one fight in 2010, she told the court, “He slapped me so hard during our altercation, my glasses broke on my face.” On March 2 of this year, she said, “He threatened to harm me if I leave him.”
The protective order was granted. Eulalio Tordil’s superiors at the Federal Protective Service took his gun and badge as a result of the complaint and put him on administrative duty. But that didn’t save Gladys, a 44-year-old chemistry teacher at Parkdale High School.
Instead, it allegedly set off a two-day rampage of violence across suburban Maryland that left her and two others dead and drove her daughters into hiding until Eulalio Tordil was taken into custody at a Boston Market on Friday afternoon.
He is charged with first-degree murder and related charges in connection with his wife’s slaying.
He may have meant to be the final fatality, allegedly telling colleagues that he wanted to commit “suicide by cop,” according to two people in law enforcement.
In the hours after the first shooting, a picture of the twice-divorced Tordil emerged of a longtime — and well-armed — police officer with a history of domestic turmoil. The recent protective order included allegations that Tordil physically abused his two stepdaughters and his wife over the course of a decade. It detailed a personal arsenal that included a .40-caliber handgun, a .45-caliber handgun, an M4, a revolver and a “hunting gun” at home.
His favorite quote, according to his Facebook page, is the misspelled: “You can ran, but you can’t hide.”
Tordil created a Youtube channel where he posted videos of his stepdaughters performing concerts in Arizona and he also made a playlist of his favorite songs including musicians playing covers of Nowhere Man by the Beatles, Green Day’s Time of Your Life and Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”
Tordil is originally from the Philippines, and he still has ties there. Gladys Tordil moved her daughters to Maryland from the Philippines in 2006, according to the protective order.
Tordil served 15 years in the Army reserve, according to the database Nexis. Montgomery police said he was an Adelphi resident. He began his federal employment in October 1987 as a police officer with the General Services Administration, according to a federal employee database. Later, he joined the Department of Homeland Security and was paid a salary of more than $90,000.
Almost a decade ago, Tordil was accused of misusing a housing program that aimed to help law enforcement officers. Tordil obtained a $26,500 discount on HUD-owned property in Hyattsville, Md., under a Good Neighbor program but didn’t live at the residence, according to a 2008 report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General. The report said that Tordil agreed to pay HUD $15,900 as part of a civil settlement.
At least once in 1995, he helped teach a women’s self-defense course to staffers at the National Institutes of Health, Md., one of the agencies that was put on lockdown during the manhunt for Tordil.
Tordil was working in Phoenix in 2005 when Stephen Jeckel met him at a martial-arts studio where both were students. Tordil, who was more advanced in the craft, became a second teacher to Jeckel, who is now an aikido instructor himself. He described Tordil as kind and family-oriented.
“The man I knew wouldn’t hurt a fly,” said Jeckel, who remained in touch with Tordil after he returned to the Washington area.
But Thursday night, police said, Tordil went to the Beltsville, Md., high school where he knew his estranged wife was picking up her daughters. Gladys Tordil was a popular chemistry teacher known to dote on her children and her students alike. Chris Mejia, a friend of Tordil’s two daughters at High Point High, remembers her paying for bowling and pizza for students who couldn’t afford to pay their own way.
“She was always happy, always singing, always dancing,” said Mejia, the school’s senior class president, who has started a GoFundMe page to raise scholarship money for the two daughters, both seniors preparing to start college in the fall.
One of the daughters was leaving the school’s band room Thursday night just as her mother was shot, according to Mejia, who has talked with a student who was with her at the time. The other student had to pull the girl back from the scene, he said.
“That’s when the whole school panicked,” Mejia said.
The violence continued Friday when Tordil allegedly opened fire outside the Macy’s at Westfield Montgomery Mall, killing one man and wounding two other people. Then he allegedly drove to a nearby Giant in Aspen Hill and shot a woman sitting in her car. Police said they have no evidence Tordil knew any of Friday’s victims.
Tordil ended his alleged killing spree with a strangely calm visit to a shopping plaza. According to Montgomery State’s Attorney John McCarthy, Tordil parked, bought a cup of coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts, went to a Michaels craft store to “browse around,” and then ordered lunch at Boston Market.
Whatever plans he might have had to go out with further violence were interrupted by as many as 100 police officers who were waiting as he left the restaurant. Officers rammed his car and surrounded him.
Asked why the suspect didn’t shoot himself or the police, McCarthy said, “That was the fear everyone had. He didn’t.”
Theresa Vargas, Michael S. Rosenwald, John Woodrow Cox, Alice Crites, Martin Weil and Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.