13 dead in Washington Navy Yard shooting

AP
Police work the scene on M Street, SE in Washington near the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.
Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 9:28 AM
Last updated 7:14 PM
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WASHINGTON —  A former Navy man opened fire Monday morning inside a building at the heavily secured Washington Navy Yard, spraying bullets at office workers in the cafeteria and the halls, authorities said. Thirteen people were killed, including the gunman.

This undated photo provided by the Fort Worth Police Department shows a booking mug of Aaron Alexis, arrested in September, 2010, on suspicion of discharging a firearm in the city limits. Alexis is suspected to be the shooter at the Washington D.C. Navy Yard Monday.  AP
AP
This undated photo provided by the Fort Worth Police Department shows a booking mug of Aaron Alexis, arrested in September, 2010, on suspicion of discharging a firearm in the city limits. Alexis is suspected to be the shooter at the Washington D.C. Navy Yard Monday.

Authorities said they were looking for a possible second attacker who may have been disguised in an olive-drab military-style uniform.

But as the day wore on and night fell, the rampage increasingly appeared to be the work of a lone gunman, and Navy Yard employees were being released from the complex and children were let out of their locked-down schools.

Investigators said they had not established a motive for the rampage, which unfolded about 8:20 a.m. in the heart of the nation's capital, less than four miles from the White House and two miles from the Capitol.

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." But he said the possibility had not been ruled out.

It was the deadliest shooting rampage at a U.S.-based military installation since Maj. Nidal Hasan killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others in 2009 at Fort Hood in Texas. He was convicted last month and sentenced to death.

President Barack Obama lamented yet another mass shooting in the U.S. that he said took the lives of American patriots. He promised to make sure "whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible."

The FBI took charge of the investigation and identified the gunman killed in the attack as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis of Texas. He died after a running gunbattle with police, investigators said.

A federal law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity said Alexis was believed to have gotten into the Navy Yard by using someone else's identification card. But Navy officials said it was not yet clear how he got onto the base.

Alexis was a full-time reservist from 2007 to early 2011, leaving as a petty officer third class, the Navy said. It did not say why he left. He had been working for a fleet logistics support squadron in Fort Worth, Texas. The Navy listed his home of record as New York City.

At the time of the rampage, he was working as a Defense Department contractor, but it was not clear if the information technology worker was assigned at the Naval Yard, according to two defense officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

He was also pursuing a bachelor's degree in aeronautics online with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the school said. He started classes in July 2012.

In addition to those killed, more than a dozen people were hurt, including a police officer and two female civilians who were shot and wounded. They were all expected to survive.

The Washington Navy Yard is a sprawling labyrinth of buildings and streets protected by armed guards and metal detectors, and employees have to show their IDs at doors and gates to come and go. About 20,000 people work there.

The rampage took place at Building 197, the headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command, which buys, builds and maintains ships, submarines and combat systems. About 3,000 people work at 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.

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.

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 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.'"

Police would not give any details on the gunman's weaponry, but witnesses said the man they saw had a long gun — which can mean a rifle or a shotgun.

In the confusion, police said around midday that 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 the man in the tan uniform had been identified and was not involved in the shooting.

As emergency vehicles and law enforcement officers flooded streets around the complex, a helicopter hovered, nearby schools were locked down and airplanes at nearby Reagan National Airport were grounded so they would not interfere with law-enforcement choppers.

Security was tightened at other federal buildings. Senate officials shut down their side of the Capitol while authorities searched for the potential second attacker. The House remained open.

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.

"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."

According to public records, Alexis' neighbor called Fort Worth police in September 2010 after she was nearly struck by a bullet that came from his downstairs apartment. Alexis told police he was cleaning his gun when it went off.

He was arrested on suspicion of discharging a firearm within city limits but was not prosecuted.

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Ego556
327
Points
Ego556 09/16/13 - 11:15 am
4
7
wait a minute...guns are not

wait a minute...guns are not allowed on a government facility and murder is illegal. sounds like we need more gun laws.

Ego556
327
Points
Ego556 09/16/13 - 01:44 pm
5
3
interesting that liberals

interesting that liberals only cry "gun control" when it's a news worthy shooting incident. how many people were murdered in Chicago over the weekend? oh yeah...no one cares. facts are facts...just because some of you get butt hurt over a fact doesn't make it any less of a fact.

Ego556
327
Points
Ego556 09/16/13 - 01:57 pm
6
2
what stops a gun wielding

what stops a gun wielding maniac? another gun! evil people dead set on killing people will find a way. the only thing that would have prevented or at least decreased the casualty rate in this incident would have been a law abiding person within that building with a gun. the government suggest you hide under your desk with a pair of scissors and wait the 20+ minutes for help to arrive...that's pure genius right there.

Fiat_Lux
15342
Points
Fiat_Lux 09/16/13 - 02:00 pm
4
0
Well, al Qaeda was ordered to step it up

against us. You'd think places like this would have had personnel carrying guns pretty much everywhere. They're military, after all.

So much for doing something that make sense these days. It's almost as though we have lost every one of our instincts for survival, or at least, have been forcibly restrained by those who hate us from acting on those instincts.

And yeah, I mean exactly whom it sounds like I mean.

Ego556
327
Points
Ego556 09/16/13 - 02:03 pm
6
0
they still don't allow

they still don't allow military personnel to carry loaded weapons on base, not even in war zones. it's pretty pathetic....best military in the world, yet they are not trusted to have loaded weapons.

CobaltGeorge
157979
Points
CobaltGeorge 09/16/13 - 03:05 pm
3
2
Overlooking The Real Gun Problem

I think the blame needs to be given to all the gun manufactures. Some how they are releasing gun brains that are defective or infected with some type of sociopathic disorder.
There are some real good guns with safe brains running around but there has to be some action to eliminate those that are manufactured with a killing brain.

KSL
128798
Points
KSL 09/16/13 - 03:11 pm
3
2
I see giant's comment was

I see giant's comment was removed, and rightfully so. He evidently did not pick up on your sarcasm, Ego.

Ego556
327
Points
Ego556 09/16/13 - 03:19 pm
5
0
and i'm not trying to make

and i'm not trying to make this into a political argument, but in a day or so the liberal anti-gunners will be all over this, and doing as they usually do. blame the object, not the nut job behind the object. guns are the only implement that gets blamed when tragedy strikes. a maniac behind the wheel of a car can run over a dozen people, but when is the last time you heard of the car being blamed? logic is not part of the liberal mind.

KSL
128798
Points
KSL 09/16/13 - 04:46 pm
3
2
walrus4ever
354
Points
walrus4ever 09/16/13 - 04:49 pm
3
2
You can bet Bloomberg and his

You can bet Bloomberg and his ilk will be all over this to get the "gun" thing going again. Get ready for a month of indignation and "crazy American society" shows courtesy of CNN and Piers Morgan.

nocnoc
42423
Points
nocnoc 09/16/13 - 06:32 pm
3
2
Posted my main comment in the R&R's

http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/metro/2013-09-16/rants-raves

This does raise the question:

Why would a most likely democrat
and most likely Obama supporter do this?

Let alone have an evil firearm?

KSL
128798
Points
KSL 09/16/13 - 06:42 pm
3
2
Well, CG, we asked in your

Well, CG, we asked in your favorite gun store about the disarming of Americans, the answer was "Democrats buy guns too."

KSL
128798
Points
KSL 09/16/13 - 06:43 pm
1
2
Trouble at the White House.

Trouble at the White House. Damper on the festivities tonight?

Dixieman
14942
Points
Dixieman 09/16/13 - 09:14 pm
3
2
Curious

The dude was a regular worshiper at a Buddhist temple in Texas and spoke fluent Thai? Wha?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/17/13 - 07:21 am
3
2
Every time there is an act of
Unpublished

Every time there is an act of terror, we are reminded that we are not to judge all Muslims by the actions of a radical few. I think it's high time the anti-gun liberals gave the same courtesy to the 80 million peaceful gun owners.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/17/13 - 07:22 am
4
2
How long before the President
Unpublished

How long before the President makes a speech where he declares that if he had a son, he would look like Aaron Alexis?

CobaltGeorge
157979
Points
CobaltGeorge 09/17/13 - 07:56 am
3
2
Angela

That there is beautiful!! Ha Ha Ha my B.. on the Floor!

seenitB4
86692
Points
seenitB4 09/17/13 - 08:44 am
3
0
Sometimes I wish

We had public floggings & cruel punishment....I could suggest a few but the "bossman" would remove them...but I think if we had them, we wouldn't see so many headlines like this. jmo

CobaltGeorge
157979
Points
CobaltGeorge 09/17/13 - 09:19 am
1
2
See,

Aaron Alexis legally purchased an AR-15, but the sad point is, he got one that had a Mental Illness brain installed. Somehow, the government is going to have a department that will have "ALL" guns go through a back ground brain check before being sold!!

I'm so glad that I got my almost hundred gun brains certified that they have an installed mental stable brain.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 09/17/13 - 11:41 am
0
0
Quote from article

"President Barack Obama lamented yet another mass shooting in the U.S. that he said took the lives of American patriots. He promised to make sure "whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible.""

There were mutipul eye-witnesses that saw ONE GUN SHOOTER. WHY and what is the practical reason to investigate this ANY further??

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 09/17/13 - 11:44 am
0
0
CobaltGeorge @ 9:19

"Aaron Alexis legally purchased an AR-15, but the sad point is, he got one that had a Mental Illness brain installed."

This is no doubt funny, but is it really appropriate?

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 09/17/13 - 11:53 am
0
0
Gun control

I have to agree with you all in this perticular case. I mean the guy had a list of things that he had done that the current gun laws should have stopped him from getting a gun!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 09/17/13 - 12:00 pm
0
0
Terrorists

How exactly is the word "terrorists" defined. I personally believe the word terrorist and hero are used way too much! I don't see the elementary school shooting, the movie theater shooting, nor this shooting as being an act of terror. Terrorists should be reserved as a name given to killers that kill in order to send a message.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/17/13 - 12:07 pm
1
0
Terrorists
Unpublished

Problem is, we have no idea if this guy wanted to send a message or not, because if he did, it's too late because LEO's did their job and stopped him definitively.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 09/17/13 - 12:18 pm
1
0
HA @ 12:07

So since there was only one appearent gunman, you think more resourse should be used instead of on a more important case?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/17/13 - 12:20 pm
1
0
Not really. As long as they
Unpublished

Not really. As long as they know there was only one. As a matter of fact, if he WAS a terrorist, I think it's best that we never know his reason....that way he FAILED in his overall goal.

Just curious though...why do people call him a gunman? If he used a knife, they don't call him a knifeman.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 09/17/13 - 12:23 pm
1
0
HA @ 12:19

So this is what we have come to today? Talking about gunman / knifeman? AND SHOULD it be man anyway, shouldn't it be PC to say person?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/17/13 - 12:28 pm
1
0
I have no problem with the
Unpublished

I have no problem with the original gender neutral use of the word man. Especially if it is more PC to use the word person...because I loath PC.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 09/17/13 - 12:37 pm
0
0
HA @ 12:28

You even make up stuff to argue about!! Wish I could do the same. You know, I have never gotten your permission to e-mail you, SO WHY should I start now?? I am going to e-mail you a copy of my latest LTE. I think of them as if they were novels! As for arguing today, if you find something to really argue about, I will find out where you are.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/17/13 - 12:39 pm
1
0
The best ever definition of
Unpublished

The best ever definition of political correctness:

http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/1494260

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