Story Summary

Deadly shooting at Navy Yard in Washington

Twelve people were killed Monday after at least one shooter opened fire in a rampage at a Navy yard in the nation’s capital, putting government buildings on lockdown and sending police SWAT teams rushing to the scene.

One suspect is dead, but two other gunmen may be on the loose, Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier said.

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Aaron Alexis was under “the delusional belief that he was being controlled or influenced by extremely low frequency electromagnetic waves” before he embarked on a bloody shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, an FBI official said Wednesday.The 34-year-old contractor, who until a few years ago had served in the Navy, spelled out this belief — with the words, “My ELF weapon” — in the sawed-off Remington 870 shotgun he brought into the military facility’s Building #197 on the morning of September 16.

“ELF” refers to low-frequency electromagnetic waves, a technology used for submarine communications that conspiracy theorists believe the government employs to monitor and manipulate unsuspecting citizens, the FBI said.

“Ultra low frequency attack is what I’ve been subject to for the last 3 months,” read a message obtained by federal authorities from Alexis’s thumb drives, phones and computers. “And to be perfectly honest, that is what has driven me to this.”

“This” is the incident that left the Navy, Washington and the nation in shock. Alexis was quickly tabbed as the shooter. Still, big questions loomed as to why he did it, as well as whether he’d gotten help or told anyone about his plans.

Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, stated unequivocally Wednesday “the investigation has determined that Alexis acted alone.” Asked whether he talked to or e-mailed anyone ahead of the attack, Parlave responded simply: “No.”

The public also got the first chance Wednesday to see Alexis in action that day, through surveillance video and photos.

They start with Alexis driving his rented blue Toyota Prius, with New York plates, around 7:53 a.m. into a parking garage, and then 15 minutes later carrying a backpack into Building #197. A still photo, taken afterward, shows that backpack hung on the inside wall of a fourth-floor bathroom stall — where he’d put his shotgun together, authorities say.

The most chilling footage shows Alexis, dressed in a short-sleeve polo shirt and pants, prowling the building’s halls and stairwells. Most of the time, his gun is cocked — ready to fire.

FBI Releases Images from Navy Yard Shooting

Aaron Alexis moves through the hallways of Building #197 carrying the Remington 870 shotgun on September 16, 2013.

Alexis went on to kill 12 people that day and wound four others.

The same shotgun on which he written “My ELF” contained other etchings as well. The words: “End to the torment!” “Not what y’all say!” And “Better off this way!”

At some point during his rampage, Alexis picked up a Beretta handgun. He exchanged gunfire with law enforcement officers a few times during the more than hourlong ordeal, which ended at 9:25 a.m. with Alexis shot dead on the third floor.

Alexis had arrived in the capital area on August 25 for a contracting project, a few weeks after he told police in Newport, Rhode Island, that he’d heard “voices” emanating from the walls of hotels he’d been staying at.

Once in Washington, he stayed at two suburban hotels before settling into a Residence Inn in the city on September 7.

Two days later, Alexis began his contracting job based at the Navy Yard. On the first Saturday after that, he was at a Northern Virginia shooting range and gun store — where he purchased the Remington 870.

FBI: Shooter did not target specific victims

A manager raised a performance-related issue with Alexis the previous Friday, but Parlave said that there is no indication this incident spurred any notable reaction. In fact, when he began shooting, it appears he wasn’t picky about his victims.

“We have not determined there to be any previous relationship between Alexis and any of the victims,” the FBI official said.

With his contractor status — not to mention he was a former Navy reservist — few questioned that Alexis legitimately gained access to the Navy Yard the morning of the fateful shooting.

Still, some have asked whether he should have had such access, given his mental health and criminal history.

The latter includes a 2004 arrest in Seattle, when he was accused of shooting the tires of a man’s truck in an anger-fueled “blackout,” according to a police report. Alexis’ father told police his son had anger management problems associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, which he suffered after working “as an active participant in rescue attempts” during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York.

Another arrest came in August 2008 in DeKalb County, Georgia, on a disorderly conduct charge. Two years later, Alexis was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas — but never charged — over an allegation that he fired a gun through the ceiling of his apartment.

That was the year, 2010, that the Navy moved to discharge Alexis due to what military officials described as a “pattern of misconduct” including insubordination, disorderly conduct, unauthorized absences from work and at least one instance of drunkenness. But due to a lack of evidence, he was instead given an honorable discharge.

Then there was his mental state, including last month’s incident in Newport, Rhode Island. Alexis also sought help at two Veterans Affairs hospitals in and around Washington for sleep-related issues, according to law enforcement sources.

HP drops sub-contractor Alexis worked for

Despite all this, Alexis still managed to find work at The Experts for about six months over the past year. That company said the last of two background checks it conducted in June on Alexis “revealed no issues other than one minor traffic violation.”

Like the military, The Experts has come under criticism for not recognizing Alexis as a potential problem or threat.

A Hewlett-Packard spokesman told CNN on Wednesday the technology company — citing its policy of adhering “to the highest standards of business practices and ethics” — had dropped The Experts as a subcontractor.

“Based on what we now know about The Experts’ conduct, including its failure to respond appropriately to Aaron Alexis’ mental health issues and certain incidents recently reported in the press, HP has terminated its relationship with The Experts,” the spokesman said.

The Experts responded, in a statement, saying it was “disappointed’ by HP’s decision and insisting it has met “all of our contractual obligations.”

“The Experts had no greater insight into Alexis’ mental health than HP, particularly given that an HP site manager closely supervised him, including during the events in Rhode Island,” the company said.

TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

President Barack Obama said Sunday that the United States “can’t accept” last week’s killing of 12 people at Washington’s Navy Yard as “inevitable,” but the shooting should instead “lead to some sort of transformation” on gun violence in the United States.

“It ought to be a shock to all of us, as a nation and as a people,” Obama said at the Marine Barracks, just a few short blocks from the Navy Yard. “It ought to obsess us. It ought to lead to some sort of transformation.”

The president said during his speech that grieving with the families impacted by mass shootings is something he has had to do five times in his presidency, citing shootings in Fort Hood, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; Auroa, Colorado; Newtown, Connecticut; and now the Washington Navy Yard.

“Part of what wears on as well is the sense that this has happened before,” Obama said. “What wears on us, what troubles us so deeply as we gather here today, is how this senseless violence that took place in the Navy Yard, echoes other recent tragedies.”

The president continued: “Sometimes I fear there is a creeping resignation … that this is somehow the new normal. We can’t accept this.”

Twelve people were killed and eight were wounded when Aaron Alexis, a Navy contractor, entered the sizable naval instillation in Washington and opened fire in Building 197. The victims, whose ages ranged from 46 to 73, all worked at the Navy Yard and many were gunned down as Alexis shot at them from above in the Navy building.

The issue of gun violence has dominated much of Obama’s second term in office, with a concerted effort to strengthen gun laws coming after 26 people — including 20 children — were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in December 2012.

The push, however, eventually failed, with the lawmakers on Capitol Hill failing to pass any laws tightening gun restrictions. Groups including the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America vociferously protested the proposed changes.

In response to last week’s shooting at Navy Yard, most gun-control advocates were resigned to the fact that not much in the of legislative changes would be made in response. The NRA, in response, suggested more armed guards at military installations.

Obama attempted to take what he saw as acceptance of gun violence head on, worrying that mass shootings could not become the “new normal.”

“I do not accept that we cannot find a common-sense way to preserve our traditions including our basic Second Amendment freedoms and the rights of law-abiding gun owners while at the same time reducing the gun violence that unleashes so much mayhem on a regular basis,” Obama said, pointing to the fact that other countries, like Great Britain and Australia, lowered gun violence by restricting access to guns after mass shootings rocked their country.

Obama also used the speech to give a glimpse into the life of each of the 12 victims, mentioning everything from Arthur Daniels’ love of polishing his white Crown Victoria to John Johnson’s last words to his wife: “Good-bye, beautiful. I love you so much.”

“Our tears are not enough,” he said to the families. “Our words and our prayers are not enough. If we really want to honor these 12 men and women, if we really want to be country where we can go to work and go to school and walk our streets free from senseless violence without so many lives being stolen by a bullet from a gun, then we’re going to have to change. We’re going to have to change.”

Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray joined Obama on Sunday in calling for tighter gun laws in response to the shooting, telling the audience that “our country is drowning in a sea of guns.”

In taking the stage, Obama was stepping into a role he has become very familiar with, counselor-in-chief, and Sunday’s remarks were reminiscent, in some ways, of past speeches he has given at memorial services for mass shootings.

Obama, however, is not the first president to play this role.

Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton were praised for the leadership they showed in the aftermath of two domestic disasters — the space shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986 and the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

Before Obama’s speech in Tucson, historian Douglas Brinkley told CNN that any speech like this needs to “touch the heart” first and foremost.

“We want him to be our empathizer-in-chief,” Brinkley said. “He’s our representative at the memorial service for how we collectively feel. And that’s what powerful rhetoric from presidents can do.”

Representatives from the military, including Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Vice Adm. William Hilarides, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, also spoke at Sunday’s event. All honored the fallen by noting that they died in the line of duty, just like those killed in battle.

“These 12 members of our Navy team, our Navy family, were killed in the line of duty, they died in the service to our nation, the service to our Navy, service they were just as committed to as anyone in uniform,” an emotional Hilarides said. “For that service, we honor them. For that service, we will never forget them.”

TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Red flags, unexplained etchings, poor police response. It’s been three days since Aaron Alexis went on a shooting rampage at the Navy Yard in Washington. And each new day since has brought new revelations about his past, the attack and the subsequent inquiry.

Navy Yard gunman trained at Great Lakes Naval Base

Late Wednesday night, the Navy Secretary said he’s ordered three reviews into security clearances. And the medical examiner’s office was completing its autopsy of Alexis.

Here’s a recap of the latest developments, meant to bring you up to speed in three minutes.

THE ATTACK

Disassembled shotgun: Alexis entered Building 197 with a disassembled Remington 870 shotgun in a small bag, a law enforcement official said. He’s seen on surveillance video ducking into a bathroom and leaving with the shotgun.

Unexplained etchings: Alexis etched phrases into the shotgun, a source said. But investigators don’t know what to make of it. They read: “Better off this way,” and “My elf weapon.”

THE RESPONSE

Stand down: A government official told CNN that when the first radio call came in about a shooting at the Navy Yard, highly-trained tactical U.S. Capitol Police officers headed to the base were told by a watch commander to stand down. The chief has now ordered an “independent fact review.”

Undermanned: The Navy Yard also has its own police force. But there were only seven officers working Monday, a police officer and a union official said.

THE SCENE

Blood everywhere: Navy officials say damage inside Building 197 is so extensive, it may take weeks to repair and reopen it. “There is blood everywhere,” one official said. “There is damage everywhere.” The base itself will resume normal operations Thursday.

THE VICTIMS

Steady recovery: One of the three hospitalized shooting victims has been released. The woman was struck behind the ear. Two others — a civilian and a police officer — remain in fair condition. The officer, Scott Williams, is believed to have fired the shot that killed Alexis.

THE MOTIVE

Still a mystery: Investigators have talked to Alexis’ friends and family. They’ve pored through his computers and other possessions. But, say law enforcement sources, nothing points to a specific motive for the rampage.

THE RED FLAGS

Hearing voices: In August, Alexis told police in Newport, Rhode Island, he was hearing voices and was convinced that someone was using a “microwave machine” to send vibrations into his body to keep him awake. Police notified the Navy. The Navy isn’t commenting.

Trouble sleeping: That month, the VA Medical Center in Providence gave him medicine to help him sleep. A few days later, he went to a VA Medical Center in Washington to request a refill. Both times, he was asked whether he was depressed or had suicidal or homicidal thoughts. He said he didn’t.

Disregarded warning: A senior Navy officer told CNN that Navy officials knew about Alexis’ 2004 arrest for shooting out the tires of a car, but they decided to grant him security clearance anyway in 2007.

THE MOTHER

‘So very sorry’: Alexis’ mother apologized Wednesday to the families of the victims, saying she didn’t know “why he did what he did, and I’ll never be able to ask him why.” “Aaron is now in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone, and for that I am glad,” she said. “To the families of the victims, I am so, so very sorry that this has happened. My heart is broken.”

THE INQUIRY

Thorough review: On Wednesday night, the Navy Secretary ordered three reviews:

– 1) To see if his behavior on and off duty made him fit for duty or to hold security clearance

– 2) To see if a contractor is required to inform the Navy if it reviews an employee’s clearance

– 3) A thorough look at how security clearances are granted and renewed in the Navy

“Where there are gaps we will close them. Where there are inadequacies we will address them. And where there are failures we will correct them,” said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

CNN’s Pamela Brown, Chris Lawrence, Barbara Starr, Chris Cuomo, John King, Deborah Feyerick, Evan Perez, Tom Cohen, Dan Merica, Larry Shaughnessy, Brian Todd, Alan Silverleib, Susan Candiotti, Joe Johns, Ed Lavandera and Jake Tapper contributed to this report.

 TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

They were civilians and contractors, just starting their day at a massive military compound that’s normally a bastion of safety.

But for reasons that may never be known, a former Navy reservist cut their lives short when he went on a shooting rampage at Washington’s Navy Yard on Monday. Twelve families were left anguished.

The victims are:

Michael Arnold, 59, of Lorton, Virginia, had a cold Monday, and his wife called to check on him when she heard an alarm in the background. He said he’d call her back, Arnold’s mother told CNN affiliate WDIV. He never had the chance.

Arnold — a Naval Academy grad, veteran of 29 years and avid pilot — was building his own plane that he hoped to fly to Michigan, where his mother, Patricia, lives, before he turned 60, the station said.

He had two master’s degrees from the University of Washington and worked designing ships at the Navy Yard, WDIV reported.

Kathy Gaarde, 62, of Woodbridge, Virginia, took care of her 94-year-old mother until she died last year, said Douglass Gaarde, her husband of 38 years. She also loved animals and counted bluebirds for a local refuge.

A Chicago native, Gaarde graduated from Florida State University before moving to Washington 38 years ago, where she has been a longtime Washington Capitals season ticket holder.

Douglass Gaarde said he traded e-mails with his wife shortly before the shooting.

“That was the last I heard from her,” he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“You know, at first you don’t think it could happen to her. I mean, there’s 3,000 people in there,” he said. “But as it gets later in the day … you know if she was able to get to the phone she would have called home.”

Their daughter, Jessica Gaarde, said her mother was the type of person would do anything for anyone she loved.

“I want them (people) to know she lived. She is not a number, or some statistic,” she told Cooper.

• John Roger Johnson, 73, of Derwood, Maryland, was an avid fisherman and Redskins fan, CNN affiliate WJLA reported.

His wife described him as an awesome human being.

“He always said, ‘Goodbye beautiful, I love you so much,’” said Judy Johnson, according to WJLA. “I was very lucky, and very blessed to find the human being that I found in him.”

Her husband “always had a smile on his face,” one of his neighbors told The Washington Post, adding that Johnson had lived in the neighborhood for more than 30 years.

A civilian who worked for the Navy, Johnson was described as a “smart man.”

“He loved children. He loved our grandchildren. No one could ask for a better neighbor,” the neighbor told the newspaper.

Arthur Daniels, 51, of southeast Washington, D.C., was married to Priscilla Daniels for 30 years. They had five children and nine grandchildren, according to WTTG-TV.

He worked at the Navy Yard as a handyman for 17 years and was on the fourth floor of Building 197 when the shooting began, his wife said.

Daniels loved his family, cooking and dancing to James Brown, WJLA said.

• Richard Michael Ridgell, 52, of Westminster, Maryland, had three daughters who prompted him to join Facebook so he could keep up with them, The Washington Post reported. A friend once teased him for having only three connections on the social media site.

He attended high school in Maryland and worked for the Maryland State Police until 2000, capping a 17-year career with the force, the newspaper reported.

Ridgell loved his work, his country and the Baltimore Ravens, CNN affiliate WJZ reported.

“I don’t want people to remember him as a victim cause he never was in his life, and he never will be. He was strong. I want him to be known as a dad above a victim of a shooting, cause he was a great dad for all of us,” his daughter, Megan Ridgell, told the network.

Martin Bodrog, 54, of Annandale, Virginia, grew up in New Jersey, Indiana and Massachusetts and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1981 before serving 22 years in the military, where he received numerous awards and medals, according to a family statement. After his career, he oversaw the design and procurement of ships for the Navy.

Bodrog and his family (wife of 23 years, Melanie, and daughters Isabel, 23, Sophie, 17, and Rita, 16) taught Sunday school for preschoolers, and he was active in Young Life, a Christian outreach group for high school students.

It was common to see him, in all weather, wearing shorts and a Boston Bruins jersey, walking his dog and helping shovel snow out of his elderly neighbors’ driveways.

“He was such a great man,” Selma Nunes, a friend of Bodrog’s, told CNN’s Erin Burnett. “Everything he did was purposeful, meaningful, and was intentional, and because of that he did everything with excellence.”

“So many people have regrets, and I can say with confidence that he lived the American dream,” she said.

• Vishnu Shalchendia Pandit, 61, of North Potomac, Maryland, had a stream of cars arriving at his home late Monday, neighbor Zhaohua Zhou told The Washington Post.

Mike Honig, another neighbor, described Pandit as “a very nice man with an Irish setter.” He said Pandit and his wife had lived in the neighborhood for 20 years.

• Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46, of Waldorf, Maryland, married his high school sweetheart. He and Evelyn were married 19 years before an amicable divorce this year. He still called her every morning before breakfast at the Navy Yard, where he worked as a civilian utilities foreman, Evelyn Proctor told the New York Daily News.

The Washington Redskins fan had two children with Evelyn: Kendull, 15, and Kenneth, 17. Kenneth is in Army basic training in Oklahoma, Evelyn Proctor told the newspaper, describing her ex-husband as “a very loving, caring, gentle person.”

• Mary Francis Knight, 51, of Reston, Virginia, was an information technology contractor who had been in Washington for five years, her family told CNN affiliate WITN.

The daughter of a Green Beret and a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Knight had two daughters herself — Nicole, who got married earlier this year, and Danielle, who lived with Knight.

Knight was also an adjunct professor at Northern Virginia Community College.

“She was a great patriot who loved her country and loved serving the USA,” family spokesman Theodore Hisey told WITN.

• Gerald L. Read, 58, of Alexandria, Virginia, was an information assurance specialist in the Navy Sea Systems Command who spent much of his career in military law enforcement and as a systems analyst, according to The Washington Post. The former Army lieutenant with two master’s degrees worked as a civilian at the Navy Yard, managing security risks related to data.

His wife of 35 years, Cathy, described him as a “totally reliable, really, really solid” husband who loved reading — especially books about the Civil War — and was close to his daughter and three grandchildren, according to the newspaper.

Read and his wife had been rescuing Labrador retrievers for a decade. The couple had three Labs, an Irish setter and two cats, but Read was most fond of his black Lab, Roderick, the paper reported.

Sylvia Frasier, 53, of Waldorf, Maryland, was the second-youngest of seven children, The Washington Post reported. Her family gathered Monday inside a three-bedroom home waiting for news.

“No matter how we feel, no matter what information we get from the FBI, we have got to forgive,” Wendy Edmonds, Frasier’s sister, told the newspaper. “We have to forgive. We can’t become bitter.”

• Frank Kohler, 50, of Tall Timbers, Maryland, was married with two daughters, according to The Washington Post, which cited a neighbor.

Injuries: 8

At least eight other people were injured, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray told reporters Monday night.

Three were shot, including a woman who was struck in the head but survived. The bullet did not penetrate her skull, and she was released from the hospital by Tuesday night.

The others suffered contusions and chest pain.

Among the injured is Washington Metropolitan Police Officer Scott Williams, who underwent surgery Monday afternoon for gunshot wounds to the lower legs.

“He was most concerned about being able to talk to his mother and wanted to make sure he was able to speak to her before he went into surgery,” said Dr. Janis Orlowski, chief medical officer at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

Wounded survivors are eligible for treatment at a U.S. military’ hospital, just as if they were soldiers wounded in war.

U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said that Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, is open to them.

CNN’s Chris Lawrence, Aaron Cooper, Dana Ford and Jonathan Auerbach contributed to this report.

TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

In the early morning hours of August 10, 2008, Aaron Alexis — now known as the Washington Navy Yard shooter — was arrested for disorderly conduct in metro Atlanta. The then-Navy reservist was kicked out of a club for damaging the furnishings and left the place releasing an unrelenting string of profanities even as police officers told him to stop.

He kept cussing and he was taken in, according to a police report.

An angry overreaction, maybe, but one that his military superiors noticed.

Was this just one side of an isolated incident? Or was it a warning sign of someone suffering from trauma dating back to the 9/11 attacks? It was this confrontation along with another arrest in Texas that prompted the Navy to begin proceedings to separate him from the military.

By the time the Navy began to seek a “general discharge” for Alexis, he had eight instances of misconduct on his record, including insubordination, disorderly conduct, unauthorized absences from work, and at least one instance of drunkenness. But in the end, he left the service with an honorable discharge because he had never been convicted and there was a lack of evidence to merit a general discharge, a U.S. defense official said.

A general discharge might have hindered his ability to get work in the civilian sector.

As it tragically played out, Alexis was working as a military contractor when he opened fire Monday at the Washington Navy Yard in the District of Columbia.

Authorities have not released their thoughts on Alexis’ motive in the morning shooting at the headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command that left 12 people — and the gunman — dead. But a friend said Alexis was locked in a dispute over money with the company that contracted him to work for the Navy.

Navy Yard gunman trained at Great Lakes Naval BaseInvestigators also learned that Alexis had recently made contact with two Veterans Affairs hospitals for apparent psychological issues, law enforcement sources told CNN on Tuesday. However, other sources said Alexis sought help from the VA for sleep-related issues.

He told Newport, Rhode Island, police last month that an individual “had sent three people to follow him and to talk, keep him awake and send vibrations into his body,” according to a police report.

Authorities said earlier that they are confident that Alexis was the lone gunman, after a daylong police search for a possible second suspect.

Trauma from 9/11?

The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were the catalyst that triggered Alexis to leave his home in New York City, according to a source with direct knowledge of the investigation.

He could not deal with the attack, left New York and essentially became a wanderer going from place to place — San Diego, Texas, and overseas, the source said.

His father told Seattle police in 2004 that his son was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after taking part in 9/11 rescue efforts, according to police records.

Alexis has not been back to New York since 2010, the source said. His parents, divorced, both live in Queens, and have been interviewed by authorities.

The source with direct knowledge of the investigation said that, based on family accounts, it appears Alexis “basically snapped.”

According to the source, Alexis was “having problems sleeping” and was “hearing voices.” He was growing increasingly troubled and in recent months had exhibited signs of mental problems and, the source said, he tried to get help at a VA facility in Rhode Island.

Last month, Alexis told Newport, Rhode Island, police that an individual “had sent three people to follow him and to talk, keep him awake and send vibrations into his body,” according to a police report.

According to that report, which is related to an investigation into a harassment complaint at a Marriott hotel in Newport, Alexis said he first heard the people “talking to him through a wall” at a Residence Inn in Middletown, Rhode Island, where he’d been staying.

He packed up and went to an unidentified hotel on a Navy base in Newport where he heard the same voices talking to him. He moved to a third hotel, the Marriott, according to the police report. There, Alexis first told authorities that the three individuals spoke to him through the floor and then the ceiling.

Alexis said the individuals were using “some sort of microwave machine” that sent “vibrations through the ceiling, penetrating his body so he cannot fall asleep.” He told authorities, according to the police report, that “he does not have a history of mental illness in his family and that he never had any sort of mental episode.”

Newport police said they referred the matter to the Newport naval base. That facility on Tuesday deferred comment to the FBI, which would not speak about the report.

Employment

Alexis is believed to have arrived in the Washington area last week, when he checked into a hotel, according to someone who met him at the hotel. The person, who declined to be identified, said Alexis indicated he planned to be in the area for several weeks.

At the time of the shooting, Alexis was working for The Experts, a subcontractor of HP Enterprise Services that was contracted to “refresh equipment used on the Navy Marine Corps Intranet network,” according to a statement released by the company.

Alexis, who had Department of Defense security clearance, worked from September 2012 through January refreshing computer systems in Japan, said Thomas E. Hoshko, the CEO of The Experts.

His security clearance was renewed in July to carry out the same type of contract work at the Navy Yard, Hoshko said.

Alexis returned to work with The Experts that same month, he said. He worked at facilities in Rhode Island, North Carolina and Virginia for weeks at a time upgrading computer systems, Hoshko said.

No one reported having any problems with him during those assignments, the chief executive said.

Alexis began working at the Navy Yard last week, though it was unclear whether he had actually begun working or was still securing his base clearance, Hoshko said.

Alexis served as a full-time Navy reservist between 2007 and 2011, according to military records. He achieved the rank of aviation electrician’s mate 3rd class, working on aircraft electrical systems, the records show.

From February 2001 until February 2003, he worked for the Borough of Manhattan Community College as a college assistant in the administrative computing office, according to spokesman Barry Rosen.

Barry Williams, who was Alexis’ supervisor there, said the suspect become easily frustrated over small things and could hold a grudge, but that he never saw him get violent.

Alexis, who managed switches and networking in the office, was a better than average worker, Williams said.

While the FBI are urging anyone with information about Alexis to come forward, investigators are focusing on reported incidents, including police run-ins, that portray a man with increasingly violent tendencies.

Many surprised

There were no indications that Alexis had any ideological differences with the Navy or any disagreements with anyone at the Navy Yard, according to a U.S. law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation.

Alexis’ family reeled at the news that he is believed to be the man behind the killings.

“What I do know is he wasn’t that type of person,” Anthony Little, who identified himself as Alexis’ brother-in-law, told reporters outside his home in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. “I didn’t really hear anything that would make me feel, as a newcomer to the family, that somebody should be watching him.”

He said the family’s initial reaction was “very distraught, very stressed out, tears.”

“You know, they didn’t see it coming,” said Little, who is married to Alexis’ sister Naomi. “Their hearts are going out more to the victims and the people that got hurt because, you know, there’s more lives lost and we don’t need that right now. We really don’t.”

Melinda Downs, a friend of Alexis’, said she spoke to him a week ago and he gave no indication of what was to come.

“It is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Who was this guy?” she asked.

Downs described Alexis as intellectual.

“His mind was sound. He could hold conversations with the best of us,” she said. “If he did (hear voices), he hid it very well.”

She said Alexis had good relationship with his family, but a tough one with his father.

“You ask yourself, you go from denial, to reality, to fear, to blame. Is there something I could have done? … Is there some type of behavior that I ignored or didn’t see. That I could have prevented this. But there is no answers,” Downs said.

Legal run-ins

Alexis appeared to have had sporadic run-ins with the law, dating back to at least 2004, when he was arrested in Seattle, accused of shooting out the tires of a man’s truck in an anger-fueled “blackout,” according to a Seattle Police Department report.

He told investigators he believed the man, a construction worker, was mocking him, but had no memory of shooting out the tires, the report said.

Investigators later spoke with Alexis’ father, who told police that his son had anger management problems associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, which he suffered after working “as an active participant in rescue attempts” during the 9/11 attacks, the report said.

And in 2010, Alexis was arrested by Fort Worth, Texas, police but never charged over an allegation that he fired a gun through the ceiling of his apartment. According to records, he told police he accidentally fired it while cleaning it.

Good friends

His last known address was outside of Fort Worth, where he was roommates for three years with Nutpisit Suthamtewakul, who described Alexis as his best friend.

Alexis befriended Suthamtewakul four years ago after he emigrated from Thailand.

Alexis taught him about American culture, Suthamtewakul told CNN. Alexis, he said, was fluent in Thai and attended a Buddhist temple.

When Suthamtewakul opened the Happy Bowl Thai Restaurant, Alexis would occasionally help out, waiting tables, he said.

The two were roommates until five months ago, when Suthamtewakul got married and Alexis had to move out.

Toward the end, Alexis spent a lot of time holed up in his room, keeping to himself, Suthamtewakul said.

On Monday, Suthamtewakul was stunned by the news that Alexis was said to be the shooter in the rampage at the Navy Yard.

“I can’t believe he did this,” he said. “He never showed any sign of violence.”

Frustrations

But there were signs that Alexis was unhappy.

He was having a hard time trying to get on his feet, said Suthamtewakul’s wife, Kristi. He helped out at the restaurant but not for pay.

“He was using this as an educational experience to help learn Thai,” she said. He enjoyed making deliveries to homes, where the language was spoken. He talked about moving to Thailand.

But to Suthamtewakul, Alexis seemed “frustrated with life.”

She is grieving. “He was like one of our best friends, like a brother to us and always willing to go out of his way to help us out with things,” she said.

He was very frustrated with the company that contracted him to work for the Navy, according to another friend.

Alexis claimed he wasn’t paid properly by the company after returning from a months-long assignment to Japan last year, said Michael Ritrovato, another former roommate.

It was unclear whether the dispute was over salary or expenses. Alexis just felt the company owed him money and had not paid him, Ritrovato said.

He is in shock over his friend’s actions.

“He was an easygoing guy. I don’t know of any reason for this,” he said.

But Ritrovato knew Alexis was fascinated by guns. “He was … knowledgeable with military rifles and handguns. At least he led us to believe he was. But nobody ever had the idea that he would use them in a derogatory way,” he said.

Two days before the shooting, Alexis spent “a couple hours” shooting at Sharpshooters Small Arms Range in Northern Virginia before paying $419 for the Remington 870 shotgun — after being approved by the federal background check — and a small amount of ammunition, the store’s attorney, J. Michael Slocum, said.

It is not clear whether Alexis was still living in Fort Worth area at the time of the shooting.
TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

By Chelsea J. Carter. Ed Lavandera and Evan Perez, CNN

The picture emerging of the dead gunman in Monday’s rampage at the Washington Navy Yard is a study in contrasts, one of a man who practiced languages and meditated, and another of a cold-blooded killer.

dc-suspect

The gunman was identified as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, a former Navy reservist and a current military contractor, the Washington FBI Field Office told CNN. His identity was confirmed by fingerprints and a picture ID card, the FBI said.

Authorities have not released a possible motive in the morning shooting at the headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command that left 12 people — and the gunman — dead. But a friend said Alexis was locked in a dispute over money with the company that contracted him to work for the Navy.

Investigators also learned that Alexis had recently made contact with two Veterans Administration hospitals for apparent psychological issues, law enforcement sources told CNN on Tuesday.

Authorities said earlier that they are confident that Alexis was the lone gunman, bringing to an end a daylong police search for a possible second suspect.

Gaining access

Alexis was carrying a military-contractor ID that matched his appearance, a D.C. Metropolitan Police official told CNN on condition of anonymity.

Alexis used that ID to gain access to the Navy Yard, according to a U.S. law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation.

He drove onto the installation and parked before walking a short distance to Building 197. Once inside, according to the official, Alexis made his way to an overlook above the atrium and opened fire into the cafeteria.

What is security like at Washington Navy Yard?

Initial reports said Alexis used an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle during the attack, but by Tuesday, law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation said that was not the case.

It is believed that Alexis had rented an AR-15, but returned it before Monday’s shooting, the officials said. Investigators have recovered three weapons from the scene, including a shotgun that Alexis is believed to have brought into the compound. The other two weapons — handguns — the sources say, may have been taken from guards.

While the FBI was urging anyone with information about Alexis to come forward, investigators were focusing on reported incidents, including police run-ins, that portray a man with increasingly violent tendencies.

Employment

Alexis was believed to have arrived in the Washington area last week, when he reportedly checked into a hotel, according to someone who met him at the hotel. The person, who declined to be identified, said Alexis indicated that he planned to be in the area for several weeks.

Who are the victims?

At the time of the shooting, Alexis was working for The Experts, a subcontractor of HP Enterprise Services that was contracted to “refresh equipment used on the Navy Marine Corps Intranet network,” according to a statement released by the company.

Alexis, who had Department of Defense security clearance, worked from September 2012 through January refreshing computer systems in Japan, said Thomas E. Hoshko, the CEO of The Experts.

His security clearance was renewed in July to carry out the same type of contract work at the Navy Yard, Hoshko said.

Alexis returned to work with The Experts that same month, he said. He worked at facilities in Rhode Island, North Carolina and Virginia for weeks at a time upgrading computer systems, Hoshko said.

No one reported having any problems with Alexis during those assignments, the chief executive said.

Alexis began working at the Navy Yard last week, though it was unclear whether he had actually begun working or was still securing his base clearance, Hoshko said.

Many surprised

There were no indications that Alexis had any ideological differences with the Navy or any disagreements with anyone at the Navy Yard, the U.S. law enforcement official said.

Alexis’ family reeled at the news that he was believed to be the man behind the killings.

“What I do know is he wasn’t that type of person,” Anthony Little, who identified himself as Alexis’ brother-in-law, told reporters outside his Brooklyn, New York, home. “I didn’t really hear anything that would make me feel, as a newcomer to the family, that somebody should be watching him.”

He said the family’s initial reaction was “very distraught, very stressed out, tears.”

“You know, they didn’t see it coming,” said Little, who is married to Alexis’ sister Naomi. “Their hearts are going out more to the victims and the people that got hurt because, you know, there’s more lives lost and we don’t need that right now. We really don’t.”

Navy reservist

Alexis, who was from New York City, served as a full-time Navy reservist between 2007 and 2011, according to military records.

In the Navy, he achieved the rank of aviation electrician’s mate 3rd class, working on aircraft electrical systems, the records show.

Alexis was honorably discharged after a “pattern of misconduct,” a U.S. defense official with knowledge of the investigation told CNN on condition of anonymity. The official did not detail the misconduct.

Most recently, Alexis worked as an information technology contractor with the Navy, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

Legal run-ins

Alexis appeared to have had sporadic run-ins with the law, dating back to at least 2004 when he was arrested in Seattle, accused of shooting out the tires of a man’s truck in an anger-fueled “blackout,” according to a Seattle Police Department report.

He told investigators he believed the man, a construction worker, was mocking him, but had no memory of shooting out the tires, the report said.

Investigators later spoke with Alexis’ father, who told police that his son had anger management problems associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, which he suffered after working “as an active participant in rescue attempts” during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York, the report said.

Alexis was arrested in August 2008 on a charge of disorderly conduct in DeKalb County, Georgia, county police said Tuesday.

And in 2010, Alexis was arrested by Fort Worth, Texas, police but never charged over an allegation that he fired a gun through the ceiling of his apartment. According to records, he told police he accidentally fired it while cleaning it.

Good friends

His last known address was outside of Fort Worth, where he was roommates for three years with Nutpisit Suthamtewakul, who described Alexis as his best friend.

Alexis befriended Suthamtewakul four years ago after he emigrated from Thailand.

Alexis taught him about American culture, Suthamtewakul told CNN. Alexis, he says, was fluent in Thai and attended a Buddhist temple.

When Suthamtewakul opened the Happy Bowl Thai Restaurant, Alexis would occasionally help out, waiting tables, he said.

The two were roommates until five months ago, when Suthamtewakul got married and Alexis had to move out.

Toward the end, Alexis spent a lot of time holed up in his room, keeping to himself, Suthamtewakul said.

On Monday, Suthamtewakul was stunned by the news that Alexis was said to be the shooter in the rampage at the Navy Yard.

“I can’t believe he did this,” he said. “He never showed any sign of violence.”

Frustrations

But there were signs that Alexis was unhappy.

He was having a hard time trying to get on his feet, said Suthamtewakul’s wife, Kristi. He helped out at the restaurant but not for pay.

“He was using this as an educational experience to help learn Thai,” she said. He enjoyed making deliveries to homes, where the language was spoken. He talked about moving to Thailand.

But to Suthamtewakul, Alexis seemed “frustrated with life.”

She is grieving. “He was like one of our best friends, like a brother to us and always willing to go out of his way to help us out with things.”

He was very frustrated with the company that contracted him to work for the Navy, according to another friend.

Alexis claimed he wasn’t paid properly by the company after returning from a months-long assignment to Japan last year, said Michael Ritrovato, another former roommate.

It was unclear whether the dispute was over salary or expenses. Alexis just felt the company owed him money and had not paid him, Ritrovato said.

Gun knowledge

He is in shock over his friend’s actions.

“He was an easygoing guy. I don’t know of any reason for this,” he said.

But Ritrovato knew Alexis was fascinated by guns. “He was … knowledgeable with military rifles and handguns. At least he led us to believe he was. But nobody ever had the idea that he would use them in a derogatory way,” he said.

It is not clear whether Alexis was still living in Fort Worth area at the time of the shooting.

CNN’s Evan Perez reported from Washington and Ed Lavandera reported from Fort Worth. Chelsea J. Carter wrote this report from Atlanta. CNN’s Brian Todd, Susan Candiotti, Barbara Starr, Jake Tapper, John King, Pamela Brown, Deborah Feyerick, Alan Silverleib, Dan Merica and Larry Shaugnessy contributed to this report.

TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

Debbie Charles, a correspondent for Reuters in Washington has the latest details about suspect in Navy Yard shooting and the investigation

By Barbara Starr. Ed Payne. Catherine E. Shoichet and Pamela Brown, CNN

The normal buzz of the Washington Navy Yard’s 3,000 workers will be replaced by the meticulous work of forensics teams, looking for answers after a military contractor gunned down 12 people and wounded eight others.

The installation is closed Tuesday to all but essential personnel. Investigators have questions to ask, measurements to take and information to sift through.

Mid-morning, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and other Department of Defense leaders will lay a wreath at the Navy Memorial plaza to honor the victims of Monday’s shooting.

Dead is the gunman, Aaron Alexis — a former Navy reservist with a “pattern of misconduct” — and 12 others — a mix of civilian workers and military contractors.

Navy Yard gunman trained at Great Lakes Naval BaseAuthorities said Alexis was killed after an encounter with security. They gave no other details.

Alexis began at the Navy Yard last week, but worked at multiple Navy offices over the summer, said employer Thomas Hoshko, CEO of The Experts, an HP subcontractor. Hoshko said there were no reports of problems with Alexis at the other Navy offices.

In addition to the dead gunman, whom authorities identified earlier, police late Monday released the names and ages of seven of the 12 people killed in the shooting. None of the seven was military personnel. They are Michael Arnold, 59; Sylvia Frasier, 53; Kathy Gaarde, 62; John Roger Johnson, 73; Frank Kohler, 50; Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46; and Vishnu Pandit, 61. The names of the other five will be released once their families have been notified.

Eight people were injured in the shooting, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray told reporters Monday night. Three of those were injured by gunfire, and the others had other types of injuries, such as bruises and chest pain. Earlier Monday evening, Navy Vice Adm. William D. French said 14 people were injured.

Washington police are confident that only one person was involved in Monday morning’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, and they are lifting a shelter-in-place order for residents who live nearby, Police Chief Cathy Lanier said Monday night.

Weapons

Authorities have recovered three weapons from the scene of the mass shooting, including a shotgun that investigators believe Alexis brought into the compound, federal law enforcement sources with detailed knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Tuesday. The other two weapons — handguns — may have been taken from guards, the sources say.

Earlier information that Alexis may have used a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle may have been incorrect, the sources said.

Investigators believe Alexis rented an AR-15 but had returned it before Monday’s shootings, the sources said. Authorities are still investigating how many weapons Aaron had access to, the sources said.

Tell us about the shooter

Authorities are still searching for more information about Alexis, and they’re asking the public for help.

“No piece of information is too small,” said Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the Washington FBI Field Office. “We are looking to learn everything we can about his recent movements, his contacts and associates.”

Even as the FBI ruled out any other shooters in the rampage at the headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command, Metropolitan Police were trying to track down at least one person to determine whether that individual had any involvement.

“We’ll continue to seek information about what the motive is. We don’t have any reason at this stage to suspect terrorism,” Gray told reporters, “but certainly it has not been ruled out.”

The other possible suspect was described by police as a man, between 40 and 50, wearing an “olive drab-colored” military-style uniform.

“We still don’t know all the facts. But we do know that several people have been shot and some have been killed,” President Barack Obama said Monday afternoon. “So we are confronting yet another mass shooting. And today it happened on a military installation in our nation’s capital.”

Obama called the shooting a “cowardly act” that targeted military and civilians serving their country.

“They know the dangers of serving abroad,” he said, “but today they faced the unimaginable violence that we wouldn’t have expected here at home.”

Witness: People pushed their way out of building

The violence began at 8:20 a.m., when several shots were fired inside the southeast Washington facility.

D.C. Metropolitan Police officials told CNN that Alexis drove onto the installation and parked before walking a short distance to Building 197. Once inside, according to an official, Alexis made his way to an overlook above the atrium and opened fire.

Two witnesses told CNN affiliate WJLA-TV that they heard a fire alarm go off in the building where they worked, then saw a man with a rifle down the hallway as they left the building.

“He aimed the gun and fired our way,” Todd Brundidge told WJLA.

People frantically ran down stairs to get out of the building, Brundidge said.

“They were pushing. They were shoving. People were falling down,” he told WJLA. “As we came outside, people were climbing the wall trying to get over the wall to get out. …. It was just crazy.”

The injured included a Washington police officer who has been hospitalized and a base security guard officer, said Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Saray Leon.

Three people, including the D.C. police officer, were admitted to MedStar Washington Hospital Center with multiple gunshot wounds. They are expected to survive, chief medical officer Janis Orlowski told reporters.

One person was pronounced dead at George Washington University Hospital, said Dr. Babak Sarani, chief of trauma and acute care there.

Details about gunman emerge

As authorities investigated the deadly shooting, across the country details about the gunman began to emerge.

The FBI said it identified Alexis using fingerprints and ID.

He was in the Navy’s Ready Reserve, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told CNN. In the past, he was an enlisted petty officer working on electrical systems. He was discharged from the Navy following a “pattern of misconduct,” a U.S. defense official said. The military is reviewing his files.

Alexis had an active ID and entered the base legally, a federal law enforcement official said.

Outside Fort Worth, Texas, friend Michael Ritrovato said Alexis had recently been frustrated with the civilian contractor about a payment issue. But Ritrovato said his friend never showed signs of aggressiveness or violence, though he played a lot of shooting video games online.

“It’s incredible that this is all happening, because he was a very good-natured guy,” Ritrovato said. “It seemed like he wanted to get more out of life.”

In Seattle, police said they arrested Alexis in 2004 for shooting out the tires of another man’s vehicle in what Alexis later told detectives was an anger-fueled “blackout.”

Government buildings, schools tighten security

Security was stepped up at the Pentagon after the shooting.

And at least eight schools went on lockdown as a precaution, the Washington public schools said.

Air traffic to Reagan National Airport in northern Virginia, the closest airport to downtown Washington, was suspended after the shooting but later resumed, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Officials postponed a Washington Nationals baseball game that had been scheduled for Monday night at Nationals Park, just a few blocks from the Washington Navy Yard.

The military installation will be closed to all but emergency personnel and traffic Tuesday, the Naval District of Washington’s Facebook page said.

The Navy Yard is the headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command – a workplace for about 3,000 people – and is the largest of the Navy’s five system commands. It has a fiscal year budget of nearly $30 billion.

“With a force of 60,000 civilian, military and contract support personnel, NAVSEA engineers, builds, buys and maintains the Navy’s ships and submarines and their combat systems,” the Navy said.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington’s congressional delegate, described the Navy Yard as a “very secure facility.”

The Navy Yard, the Navy’s oldest land establishment, was created in 1799 after an act of Congress, the Naval History and Heritage Command says. Originally envisioned as a shipbuilding and fitting facility on the Anacostia River, it serviced some of the Navy’s most famous early vessels, including the USS Constitution.

Burned during the War of 1812, the Navy Yard was transformed into a center for ordnance and technological development. The facility was the world’s largest ordnance plant during World War II, but its military role steadily diminished during the Cold War era.

Today, the Navy Yard includes the headquarters of Naval District Washington and is home to a naval museum. The area around the facility has been marked in recent years by significant commercial and residential revitalization.

CNN’s Barbara Starr reported from Washington, and CNN’s Catherine E. Shoichet reported from Atlanta. CNN’s Chris Cuomo, John King, Deborah Feyerick, Evan Perez, Tom Cohen, Dan Merica, Larry Shaughnessy, Brian Todd, Alan Silverleib, Susan Candiotti, Joe Johns, Eliott C. McLaughlin, Joe Sterling, Paul Courson and Ed Lavandera contributed to this report.

TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

The suspected gunman in the mass shooting at a  D.C. naval yard was identified as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis.

Alexis was a naval reservist for about 4 years and more recently he was a Navy subcontractor in Texas

Alexis trained in the Chicago area for 2 months in 2007 at the Great Lakes Naval Station.

From there, the New York native eventually made his way to Texas where he served the bulk of his full time reservist duties working on electrical engineering systems. He had no oversees or combat experience.  While Alexis may have received two common medals on the job, he also had been arrested twice:

Once in Seattle in 2004 for shooting out the tires of some construction workers cars. Then again in 2010 for discharging his weapon in public. He told police back then, he was cleaning his weapon when it accidentally went off.

Alexis left the naval reserves in 2011.  Why he was discharged has not been made public.  But more recently, the Petty Officer 3rd Class had been a subcontractor for the Navy enrolled with an online university in Florida since 2012 pursuing a bachelor’s of science in aeronautics.

The FBI is now in charge of learning more about the man who reportedly stormed the DC naval yard this morning and opened fire on a cafeteria filled with people, many of them civilians.

All 12 of the victims killed in Monday’s shooting rampage at Washington’s Navy Yard were contractors or civilians, authorities said Monday night.

Officials identified seven of those killed. They are:

Michael Arnold, 59;

Sylvia Frasier, 53;

Kathy Gaarde, 62;

John Roger Johnson, 73;

Frank Kohler, 50;

Vishnu Pandit, 61; and

Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46;

None of those killed were military personnel, authorities said.

Wounded survivors of Monday’s shooting are eligible for treatment at a U.S. military’ hospital, just as if they were soldiers wounded in war.

U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced that Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, is open to them as he visited two civilian Navy workers being treated at MedStar Washington Hospital Center Monday afternoon.

Twelve victims — and the suspected shooter — died as a result of Monday morning’s rampage at the headquarters for the Naval Sea Systems Command, officials said. It could take another day until everyone is accounted for, the Navy secretary said Monday.

A maintenance worker who tried to warn others was among those shot, according to U.S. Navy Cmdr. Tim Jirus.

Jirus told CNN he was standing in an alley at the bottom of a fire escape supervising the evacuation of Building 197 when a worker from a nearby maintenance building approached him.

“He walked up and told me that he heard that there was a shooter in our building,” Jirus said. “And we were just standing there maybe three feet away having a conversation, and then we heard two more gunshots, and he went down and that’s when I ran.”

Jirus said he did not know the man. He was “fairly certain he is dead, because he was shot in the head.”

“I don’t feel lucky that he got hit instead of me, but I feel lucky to be here,” Jirus said.

At least one person, and possibly a second, opened fire, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray said. Police said one suspected shooter was killed.

Three other shooting victims who were flown to MedStar Washington Hospital Center are expected to survive, hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Janis Orlowski told reporters about three hours after the attack began around 8:20 a.m. Monday.

Dr. Orlowski gave more details later in the day about her patients, including a Washington Metropolitan police officer who was in surgery Monday afternoon “for gunshot wounds that “involve bones and blood vessels of lower legs.”

“He was most concerned about being able to talk to his mother and wanted to make sure he was able to speak to her before he went into surgery,” Orlowski said. Doctors could know after another day about the police officer’s chances of walking again, she said.

The two other victims at MedStar Washington Hospital Center were women, including one shot in the shoulder and the other with a head wound, Orlowski said. A helicopter plucked one of the wounded women from a roof and carried her to the hospital, she said.

“Their chances of survival are very good,” she said. The patients were all in stable condition, she said.

The woman with the shoulder wound was “in very, very good spirits,” Orlowski said. “She’s actually ordering the doctors and nurses around, and we told her we are in charge here.”

The other woman suffered a “significant wound” to her hand and head, but the bullet didn’t actually penetrate her skull, she said.

Her father rushed to the Navy Yard when he heard about the shooting, Orlowski said. He found her as paramedics were treating her on the scene, she said.

The three patients were each alert when they arrived at the hospital and they sometimes talked about the shooting, Orlowski said. The most common question was about the fate of their co-workers.

“They’re very worried about their colleagues,” she said. “It’s the only question that I’ve heard about the incident. We’ve not shared that with them.”

Mabus went to the hospital to check on the two women, who are Navy employees. “We got to meet one of the victims, a young woman and her family,” Maybus said. “She is, under the circumstances, doing very well. I also got to talk to the husband of the second victim, who is in surgery right now. But none of the injuries are expected to be life-threatening.”

Relatives of people who worked in Building 197 gathered near the Navy yard, hoping for information about their loved ones.

Jacqueline Alston said she has not heard from her husband, Ernest, who is a custodial worker there.

“Right now, I’m asking God to let me hear that voice, to let me see that man again,” Alston said. “All I know is, I’m supposed to be patient, which I am trying to hold on, being patient and understanding, and ask God what created this problem? What started this?”

Mabus said Monday that it could take 24 to 35 hours for Navy officials to account for everyone. He gave two telephone numbers people can call to check on family members who may have been at the Navy Yard. The numbers are: 202-433-6151 and 202-433-9713

“When you call we will not be able to give you a status report,” Mabus said. “We’ll have to check and call back.”
TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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