13 killed in Washington Navy Yard shooting rampage - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

13 killed in Washington Navy Yard shooting rampage

Posted: Updated:
Police work the scene on M Street, SE in Washington near the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. Police work the scene on M Street, SE in Washington near the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.
Police work the scene on M Street, SE in Washington, where a gunman was reported at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. Police work the scene on M Street, SE in Washington, where a gunman was reported at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.
34-year-old Aaron Alexis 34-year-old Aaron Alexis
People hold their hands to their heads as they are escorted out of the building where a deadly shooting rampage occurred at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) People hold their hands to their heads as they are escorted out of the building where a deadly shooting rampage occurred at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Map locates the Washington Navy Yard where a shooting occurred and several people were killed. ; 4c x 5 inches; 195.7 mm x 127 mm. Map locates the Washington Navy Yard where a shooting occurred and several people were killed. ; 4c x 5 inches; 195.7 mm x 127 mm.
  • RelatedMore>>

  • Alleged Navy Yard gunman's time in San Diego

    Alleged Navy Yard gunman's time in San Diego

    Tuesday, September 17 2013 8:50 AM EDT2013-09-17 12:50:34 GMT
    The man identified by the FBI as the alleged gunman in Monday's Washington Navy Yard shooting spent time in San Diego. 
    The man identified by the FBI as the alleged gunman in Monday's Washington Navy Yard shooting spent time in San Diego. 
  • A check on security at local bases

    A check on security at local bases

    Monday, September 16 2013 10:40 PM EDT2013-09-17 02:40:34 GMT
    In the wake of Monday's shootings at the Washington D.C. Navy Yard, local navy officials tell News 8 they are monitoring the situation, which includes whether or not security measures will change. 
    In the wake of Monday's shootings at the Washington D.C. Navy Yard, local navy officials tell News 8 they are monitoring the situation, which includes whether or not security measures will change. 
  • Navy Yard suspect arrested in '04 Seattle shooting

    Navy Yard suspect arrested in '04 Seattle shooting

    Monday, September 16 2013 9:49 PM EDT2013-09-17 01:49:24 GMT
    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." 
    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." 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The deadly attack at the Washington Navy Yard was carried out by one of the military's own: a defense contract employee and former Navy reservist who used a valid pass to get onto the installation and started firing inside a building, killing 12 people before he was slain in a gun battle with police.

The motive for the mass shooting — the deadliest on a military installation in the U.S. since the tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009 — was a mystery, investigators said. But a profile of the lone gunman, a 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, was coming into focus. He was described as a Buddhist who had also had flares of rage, complained about the Navy and being a victim of discrimination and had several run-ins with law enforcement, including two shootings.

Monday's onslaught at a single building at the highly secure Navy Yard 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.

It put all of Washington on edge. Mayor Vincent Gray said there was no indication it was a terrorist attack, but he added that the possibility had not been ruled out.

"This is a horrific tragedy," he said.

Alexis carried three weapons: an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun, and a handgun that he took from a police officer at the scene, according to two federal law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation.

For much of the day, authorities said they were looking for a possible second attacker who may have been disguised in an olive-drab military-style uniform. But by late Monday night, they said they were convinced the shooting was the work of a lone gunman, and the lockdown around the area was eased.

"We do now feel comfortable that we have the single and sole person responsible for the loss of life inside the base today," Washington police Chief Cathy Lanier said.

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.

The attack came four years after Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan killed 13 people at Fort Hood in what he said was an effort to save the lives of Muslims overseas. He was convicted last month and sentenced to death.

In addition to those killed at the Navy Yard, eight people were hurt, including three who were shot and wounded, according to the mayor. Those three were a police officer and two female civilians, authorities said. They were all expected to survive.

The dead ranged in age from 46 to 73, according to the mayor. A number of the victims were civilian employees and contractors, rather than active-duty military personnel, the police chief said.

At the time of the rampage, Alexis was an employee with The Experts, a company that was a Defense Department subcontractor on a Navy-Marine Corps computer project, authorities said.

Valerie Parlave, head of the FBI's field office in Washington, said Alexis had access to the Navy Yard as a defense contractor and used a valid pass.

Alexis had been a full-time Navy 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 an aviation electrician's mate with a unit in Fort Worth.

A convert to Buddhism who grew up in New York City, Alexis had had run-ins with the law over shooting incidents in 2004 and 2010 in Fort Worth and Seattle and was portrayed in police reports as seething with anger.

The Washington Navy Yard is a sprawling, 41-acre labyrinth of buildings and streets protected by armed guards and metal detectors, and employees have to show their IDs at doors and gates. More than 18,000 people work there.

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

Witnesses on Monday described a gunman opening fire from a fourth-floor overlook, aiming down on people on the main floor, which includes a glass-walled cafeteria. 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 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 fired 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.'"

As emergency vehicles and law enforcement officers flooded the streets, a helicopter hovered, nearby schools were locked down and airplanes at 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. The House remained open.

In the confusion, police said around midday that they were searching for two accomplices 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. Police said it was unclear if the men were members of the military.

But as the day wore, police dropped one person and then the other as suspects. As tensions eased, Navy Yard employees were gradually released from the complex, and children were let out of their locked-down schools.

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."

___

Associated Press writers Jesse Holland, Stacy A. Anderson, Brian Witte and Ben Nuckols in Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Putting skateboards on the streets, not guns

    Putting skateboards on the streets, not guns

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:05 PM EDT2014-08-29 03:05:11 GMT
    Local law enforcement agencies will be banding together this weekend in an effort to take guns off the streets. 
    Local law enforcement agencies will be banding together this weekend in an effort to take guns off the streets. 
  • Judge orders trial for motorist accused in hit-and-run death

    Judge orders trial for motorist accused in hit-and-run death

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:04 PM EDT2014-08-29 03:04:34 GMT
    A motorist who allegedly took off after hitting a female transient in the middle of Interstate 5 near downtown San Diego must stand trial on a charge of hit-and-run causing death, a judge ruled Thursday 
    A motorist who allegedly took off after hitting a female transient in the middle of Interstate 5 near downtown San Diego must stand trial on a charge of hit-and-run causing death, a judge ruled Thursday 
  • SDSU men's basketball takes Ice Bucket Challenge

    SDSU men's basketball takes Ice Bucket Challenge

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:04 PM EDT2014-08-29 03:04:06 GMT
    The San Diego State University men's basketball team completed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Thursday. 
    The San Diego State University men's basketball team completed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Thursday. 
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.