Deadly shooting at Washington, D.C. Navy Yard
UPDATE (9:53 p.m.) - D.C. Police released the names of seven people killed in Monday's attack at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard. The Washington Post reports the victims' families have been notified. The paper also reports none of the victims identified were members of the military.
WASHINGTON (AP) - D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says authorities believe there was only a lone gunman responsible for the Navy Yard shooting rampage that left 13 people dead.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is mourning what he calls "yet another mass shooting" in the United States that took the life of what he says were American patriots.
SEATTLE (AP) - The man identified as the shooter in the Washington Navy Yard slayings had been arrested in Seattle in 2004 for shooting out the tires of a parked car in what he described as an anger-fueled "black out."
UPDATE (5:14 p.m.) - @BreakingNews tweets - Suspect in DC Navy Yard attack was arrested in Seattle in 2004 for anger-fueled 'blackout' shooting
Authorities have identified a 34-year-old civilian contractor for the Navy named Aaron Alexis as the alleged shooter in this morning’s shooting spree at Washington, D.C.’s Navy Yard, in which police say at least 12 victims died.
Alexis was identified via fingerprints, said law enforcement sources.
Alexis served in the U.S. Navy between May 5, 2007 and Jan. 31, 2011, when he was discharged, a Navy spokeswoman said. Alexis was an "aviation electrician's mate"-- a third class petty officer-- serving at the Naval Air Station in Fort Worth, Texas at the time of his discharge, the spokeswoman said. After enlisting in New York, he graduated from boot camp at Great Lakes, Illinois as an Airman Recruit.
The spokeswoman had no other details on the grounds for his discharge.
In the late 1990s through 2002 he is listed as maintaining addresses in Manhattan and Queens, New York City. He has a New York State social security number and is a registered voter in New York City.
According to a deleted Linked In profile, he attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and worked for a tech firm.
His most recent listed address was 2450 Oak Hill Circle, Ft. Worth. A former roommate from Ft. Worth, the owner of Happy Bowl Thai restaurant, told NBC News he had not seen Alexis in three months.
Records show that Alexis was arrested for allegedly discharging a firearm at his Ft. Worth home in September 2010. A witness in a neighboring apartment told police that she heard a pop and saw a hole in her floor and ceiling.
Alexis told police he was cleaning his gun when while cooking and that his hands were slippery. Charges against him were dropped.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A hospital official says a police officer and two civilians wounded in the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard are expected to survive.
The shooting rampage left at least 13 people dead.
But the three being treated at Washington Hospital Center are expected to survive. Janis Orlowski, the hospital's chief operating officer, detailed their injuries at a Monday afternoon news conference.
The police officer was still in surgery to treat gunshot wounds to his lower extremities, though Orlowski says he is expected to make a good recovery.
A second victim has a shoulder wound and also is expected to recover.
Orlowski says the third victim being treated at the hospital was shot in the head, but the bullet did not penetrate her skull.
WASHINGTON (AP) — As many as two gunmen launched an attack Monday morning inside the Washington Navy Yard, spraying gunfire on office workers in the cafeteria and in the hallways at the heavily secured military installation in the heart of the nation's capital, authorities said. At least 12 people were killed.
One gunman was dead after he fired on a police officer, and police hunted for a second possible attacker who may have been disguised in a military-style uniform, authorities said. It wasn't clear how the gunman died.
Investigators said they had not established a motive for the shooting rampage, which unfolded less than four miles from the White House. As for whether it may have been a terrorist attack, Mayor Vincent Gray said: "We don't have any reason to think that at this stage."
The FBI took charge of the investigation. The dead gunman was identified as Aaron Alexis by two federal law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
One of those officials said Alexis, 34, was from Texas and is believed to have gotten into the Navy Yard by using someone else's identification card. It is not yet clear if that person was an accomplice or if the ID was stolen.
President Barack Obama mourned yet another mass shooting in the U.S. that he said took the lives of American patriots. Obama promised to make sure "whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible."
In addition to the dead, at least three people were wounded.
The area where the rampage took place, known as Building 197, was part of the headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command, which buys, builds and maintains ships, submarines and combat systems. The yard is a labyrinth of buildings protected by armed guards at gates and metal detectors, and employees have to show their IDs to come and go.
About 3,000 people work at the headquarters, many of them civilians.
Witnesses described a gunman opening fire from a fourth-floor overlook, aiming down on people in the cafeteria on the main floor. Others said a gunman fired at them in a third-floor hallway. It was not clear whether the witnesses on different floors were describing the same gunman.
Around midday, police said they were searching for two men who may have taken part in the attack — one carrying a handgun and wearing a tan Navy-style uniform and a beret, the other armed with a long gun and wearing an olive-green uniform. Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier said it was unclear if the men were members of the military.
But later in the day, police said in a tweet that the man in the tan uniform had been identified and was not involved in the shooting.
It was not immediately clear whether the number of dead included a gunman.
As emergency vehicles and law enforcement officers flooded streets around the complex, a helicopter hovered overhead, nearby schools were locked down and airplanes at nearby Reagan National Airport were grounded so they would not interfere with law-enforcement choppers.
A short distance away, security was beefed up at the Capitol and other federal buildings, but officials said there was no known threat.
Todd Brundidge, an executive assistant with Navy Sea Systems Command, said he and other co-workers encountered a gunman in a long hallway on the third floor. The gunman was wearing all blue, he said.
"He just turned and started firing," Brundidge said.
Terrie Durham, an executive assistant with the same agency, said she also saw the gunman firing toward her and Brundidge.
"He aimed high and missed," she said. "He said nothing. As soon as I realized he was shooting, we just said, 'Get out of the building.'"
Rick Mason, a civilian program-management analyst for the Navy who works on the fourth floor of the building, said a gunman was firing from the overlook in the hallway outside his office.
Shortly after the gunfire, Mason said, someone on an overhead speaker told workers to seek shelter and later to head for the gates at the complex.
Patricia Ward, a logistics-management specialist, said she was in the cafeteria getting breakfast.
"It was three gunshots straight in a row — pop, pop, pop. Three seconds later, it was pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, so it was like about a total of seven gunshots, and we just started running," Ward said.
Ward said security officers started directing people out of the building with guns drawn.
One person died at George Washington University Hospital of a single gunshot wound to the left temple, said Dr. Babak Sarani, director of trauma and acute care surgery. A police officer and two civilian women were in critical condition at Washington Hospital Center, said Janis Orlowski, the hospital's chief operating officer.
Orlowski said the police officer was in the operating room with gunshot wounds to the legs. The police chief said the officer was wounded when he engaged the shooter who later died.
One woman at the hospital had a gunshot wound to the shoulder. The other had gunshot wounds to the head and hand.
Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, was at the base at the time the shooting began but was moved unharmed to a nearby military installation
Anxious relatives and friends of those who work at the complex waited to hear from loved ones.
Tech Sgt. David Reyes, who works at Andrews Air Force Base, said he was waiting to pick up his wife, Dina, who was under lockdown in a building next to where the shooting happened. She sent him a text message about being on lockdown.
"They are under lockdown because they just don't know," Reyes said. "They have to check every building in there, and they have to check every room and just, of course, a lot of rooms and a lot of buildings."
Naval Sea Systems Command is the largest of the Navy's five system commands and accounts for a quarter of the Navy's entire budget. Only security personnel were allowed to be armed on the grounds, but that can include uniformed security officers, civilian contractors and members of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Cmdr. Timothy Jirus said he has a clearance that would allow him to carry a gun on the campus. He has a secure access card that he swipes to get into the headquarters office.
"I think the security is really good, up until today," Jirus said.
Everyone must show an ID to get through a main gate, and at the building entrance, everyone must swipe a badge to pass through either a door or gate, depending on the entrance.
That "makes me think it might have been someone who works here," Mason said.
The Navy Yard has three gates, according to its website. One is open around the clock and must be used by visitors. A second gate is only for military and civilian Defense Department employees. The third gate is for bus traffic.
The Navy Yard is part of a fast-growing neighborhood on the banks of the Anacostia River in southeast Washington, blocks from the Nationals Park baseball stadium.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal law enforcement officials say the man accused in a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard that left at least 12 people dead has been identified as Aaron Alexis.
The two officials spoke Monday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
One of those officials says Alexis was a 34-year-old from Texas. He is believed to have a criminal record there and to be a holder of a concealed carry weapon permit.
That official says Alexis is believed to have gotten into the Navy Yard by using someone else's identification card. It is not yet clear if that individual was an accomplice or if that person's ID card was stolen.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate officials say no one is being allowed in or out of Senate buildings while authorities search for a potential second suspect in the Navy Yard shootings.
Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer said Monday that people could move around the buildings but could not leave or enter. He said he had no information to suggest the Senate, its members or staff were in danger but took the step out of an abundance of caution.
The House remained open.
Authorities said as many as two gunmen opened fire Monday morning inside the Washington Navy Yard, killing at least 12 people in an attack on office workers at the heavily secured military installation in the nation's capital. One gunman was dead and police hunted for a second possible attacker.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal law enforcement officials say the man accused in a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard that left at least 12 people dead has been identified as Aaron Alexis.
A man brandishing an assault rifle, shotgun and handgun opened fire Monday inside a building at the Washington Navy Yard. The city police chief said 12 people were killed.
SWAT officers swarmed the building, the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command, and a shooter there was killed, sources told NBC News. Law enforcement officials identified the gunman to NBC News as Aaron Alexis, 34, originally of Fort Worth, Texas. They said he recently began working as a civilian contractor.
Chief Cathy Lanier said there could be as many as two other suspects at large, one white and one black, both seen with firearms and wearing military-style uniforms. But reports conflicted in the chaotic hours after the rampage, and there was no confirmation of more than one person firing shots.
It was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last December, and the worst at a military installation since 13 people were killed at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.
The number of injured was not clear.
President Barack Obama called it a “cowardly act.” He said the rampage targeted patriots, military and civilian alike, “men and women who were going to work, doing their job, protecting all of us.”
Terrie Durham, who works at the Naval Sea Systems Command building, said she saw a gunman who appeared to be wearing dark fatigues. Another worker there, Todd Brundidge, said he heard a fire alarm go off, and later saw the gunman come around the corner.
“He turned our way and started firing, and we ran downstairs to get out of the building,” Brundidge said. “No words. He raised the gun and started firing.”
A naval security guard was among those shot and was hit in both legs, U.S. military officials said. Washington city police told WRC, the NBC affiliate in Washington, that one of their officers was also among those shot. It was not clear how many of the others shot were civilian and how many were military.
Patricia Ward, who works at the Navy Yard, said she had just gotten breakfast in the cafeteria when she heard “three gunshots, pow-pow-pow, straight in a row.”
“All of the people that were in the cafeteria, we all panicked, and we were trying to decide which way we were going to run out,” she said. “I just ran.”
Tim Hogan, a spokesman for Rep. Steven Horsford of Nevada, posted photos to his Twitter account of people tending to at least one person down on a street corner.
Chaos enveloped the surrounding neighborhood for hours. Flights were briefly grounded at Reagan National Airport, and nearby schools and the headquarters of the Department of Transportation were locked down. Farther away, police stepped up security on the Capitol grounds.
Washington police issued lookouts for two people they described as suspects — a 50-year-old black man with a rifle, wearing an olive drab military uniform, and a white man with a pistol, wearing a short-sleeved, khaki uniform and a beret.
Dr. Janis Orlowski, the chief medical officer at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, said that the hospital was treating three gunshot victims — a woman hit in the head and hand, a woman hit in the shoulder and a man hit in the legs.
She said that the victims came in alert and talking.
“They’re talking about gunshots that they heard in rapid succession,” she said.
George Washington University Hospital said it had one patient.
Obama, speaking at an event marking the fifth anniversary of the financial crisis, turned to the shooting and said: “We are confronting yet another mass shooting, and today it happened on a military installation in our nation’s capital.”
“It’s a shooting that targeted our military and civilian personnel,” he said. “These are men and women who were going to work, doing their job, protecting all of us. They’re patriots. And they know the dangers of serving abroad, but today they faced the unimaginable violence that they wouldn’t have expected here at home.”
The Navy said on its Twitter feed that three shots were fired at 8:20 a.m. ET at the Sea Systems Command headquarters. About 3,000 people work there, the Navy said. They were ordered to stay in place. WRC video showed a medical helicopter lifting someone off a roof.
“This is a huge piece of land with several building so it’s going to take some time for us to get through it and search it so we can make sure it’s safe,” Peter Newsham, assistant chief of the Washington police, told reporters.
Obama was getting regular briefings.
The Naval Sea Systems Command builds, buys and maintains ships and submarines and their combat systems. The Navy Yard is along the Anacostia River in Washington, near the Washington Nationals baseball stadium.