“The Navy family today suffered a horrific attack-and we are a family,” he said. “The civilians that work in the Navy and do the critical work that has to be done suffered just a stunning and horrific blow today.”
Mr. Mabus addressed reporters at the MedStar hospital in northeast Washington, where he visited the victims that were brought to the hospital.
He was accompanied by Adm. Johnathan Greenert, the Chief of Naval Operations, and Assistant Sec. Sean Stackley.
He declined to answer questions about the ongoing investigation and did not comment on what the motivations of the shooter might have been.
The secretary did say the Navy has put in place a number of contingency plans for emergencies, starting with evacuating the Navy Yard complex as soon as possible after the shooting.
All employees at the Navy Yard have been named Sec of Navy designers, meaning they can go to Walter Reed Medical Center for more serious combat-related injuries if necessary, but Mr. Mabus said he doesn’t expect anyone will need medical treatment outside of what civilian hospitals could provide.
Counseling is also being provided.
The Navy is also working on being able to get all employees home, since their cars and personal belongings are now part of a crime scene, Mr. Mabus said.
“To the doctors, to all the medical personnel, to all the first responders: thank you,” he said.
People trying to find family members working at Navy Yard can call two numbers: 202-433-6151 or 202-433-9713.