U.S.

Navy Yard shooting leaves 13 dead

Suspected shooter Aaron Alexis, contractor and former Naval reservist, among dead in Washington DC

Naureen Khan contributed reporting

WASHINGTON Thirteen people were killed and eight injured in a Monday morning shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, Mayor Vincent Gray told reporters Monday night. Among those wounded was one police officer.

Aaron Alexis
Aaron Alexis
FBI

The alleged shooter, Aaron Alexis, 34, of Fort Worth, Texas, was a full-time member of the U.S. Naval Reserve from 2007 to January 2011, according to a Navy spokeswoman. Alexis, who was born in Queens, N.Y., was confirmed to be one of the dead at the scene, authorities said.

Alexis worked at the Navy Yard in information technology for a company called The Experts, a subcontractor for HP Enterprise Services. The 34-year-old had no apparent misconduct issues at The Experts, CEO Thomas Hoshko said. But Alexis was treated by the U.S. government for serious mental illness, souces told The Associated Press Tuesday morning.

Hoshko added that it is unclear if Alexis had just started working at the Navy Yard or was just about to start. The FBI said that Alexis had entered the Navy Yard with a valid pass.

Earlier Monday, authorities were looking for two additional people of interest, but Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier said Monday night about Alexis that "we are comfortable that we have the single and sole person responsible."

Shots reportedly first rang out at 8:20 a.m. in Building 197, headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command, which is about 1.5 miles southeast of the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall.

Three victims were admitted to Washington Hospital Center in critical condition. Two required surgery, but all three of the wounded are doing well, hospital spokeswoman Janis Orlowski said. One of injured included Scott Williams, a 23-year veteran of the D.C. police.

The deceased victims were inside the Navy headquarters, according to Lanier. Mayor Gray described the event as an "isolated incident" and said that no other facilities in the city were involved.

Speaking at a press conference, President Barack Obama said he is going to do "everything in our power to ensure that whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible."

Monday's attack has resulted in the most fatalities in a mass shooting this year, and the deadliest single-day event in Washington D.C. since a 1982 plane crash that killed 78 people.

So far, police have confirmed the names and ages of seven of the 13 victims killed in the shooting whose families have been notified. The victims include Michael Arnold, 59, Sylvia Frasier, 53, Kathy Gaarde, 62, John Roger Johnson, 73, Frank Kohler, 50, Bernard Proctor, 46 and Vishnu Pandit, 61.

TIMELINE: U.S. massacres tripled over past decade

The Washington Navy Yard, located in southeast Washington, D.C., along the Anacostia River, is the nation's oldest on-shore naval facility. Three thousand people work at the Naval headquarters.

As the shooting investigation continues, only essential personnel are to report back to work at the Navy Yard Tuesday. 

LIVE BLOG: Navy Yard shooting

The Navy reports that the shooting happened at Building 197, marked here with an A on Google Maps. The facility is about 1.5 miles southeast of the U.S. Capitol.
Google

'It was like a battleground'

Earlier Monday, law-enforcement officials from various agencies cordoned off the facility, as police cars, military vehicles, ambulances and other emergency officials entered and left. Federal workers were also seen streaming from the premises.

Carlos Perez and Carole Tracy -- who traveled to Washington from Poquoson, Va., for the Nationals game against the Braves Monday night -- were staying at the Courtyard Marriott down the street from Navy Yard.

They said the sound of sirens woke them and from their 14th-floor hotel room they saw police administering CPR to a man lying on the ground on M Street and New Jersey Avenue. Then, they said, mayhem broke loose as law-enforcement officials flooded the scene.

MAP: Where the shooting happened in D.C.

"There were hundreds of them racing down the street cordoning off the area," Tracy said. "It was like a battleground."

The Nationals Park, close to the Navy Yard where the shooting took place, was being used as a holding area for families awaiting word from employees still inside the command facility. The Washington Nationals baseball team postponed their Monday night game against the Atlanta Braves.

Patricia Ward, a witness who was in a cafeteria at the Navy Yard buying breakfast when shots were fired, said, "I heard three gunshots -- pop, pop, pop."

An Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms special-response team that worked on the Boston Marathon bombing has been sent to the scene.

Federal facilities in the city were also placed on high alert and six local schools were placed on lockdown. The Senate complex was also locked down "out of an abundance of caution," according to the Senate's sergeant at arms.

Navy Yard personnel were ordered to shelter in place, according to a release from U.S. Navy.

Another witness told ABC, "I was on the phone, and somebody came by my desk and said, 'Hey, this is not a fire alarm. Somebody has been shot in the building.' So we went around and tried to get people out of the building, and as we were exiting the back door, we noticed him around the hall," the unnamed man said.

"We stepped around the corner, we heard shots, and as he came around the corner he aimed his gun at us and fired at least two and three shots, and we ran out of the building ... After we left the building, there were still shots in the building," he added.

Another witness told the station that they encountered a shooter as they were trying to escape.

"He was going (up) the hall. We couldn't see his face, but we could see him with the rifle, and he raised and aimed at us and fired, and he hit high on the wall just as we were trying to leave," the unidentified woman said.

With wire services.

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