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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The picture emerging of a 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.

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 shooting at the headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command that left more than a dozen people, including 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.

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.

dc-suspectHe 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.

Alexis was armed with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, a .9mm handgun and another rifle, the official said. He was believed to have used the semiautomatic rifle during most of the attack, the official said.

Even as the FBI ruled out any other shooters in the rampage, Metropolitan Police were trying to track down at least one person to determine whether they had any involvement.

Authorities are looking for a black male, between 40 and 50, with a medium complexion and gray sideburns who was reportedly wearing an “olive drab-colored” military-style uniform.

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.

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

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

Alexis was 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.

Alexis appeared to have had sporadic run-ins with the law, dating back to at least 2004 when he was arrested in Seattle on charges he shot 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, attacks in New York, the report said.

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.

His last known address was outside of Fort Worth, Texas, 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 reeled at the news that Alexis was believed to be a gunman in the rampage at the Navy Yard.

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

But there were signs that Alexis was unhappy. He was very frustrated with the company who contracted him to work for the Navy, according to a 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.

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

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.

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

Great Lakes Naval Station beefs up security after deadly DC shooting

When a fire alarm blared Monday morning at the Washington Navy Yard, Terrie Durham thought it might be another drill.

Then office fire wardens came in shouting for everyone to get out as fast as possible, and “that’s when we started moving,” she told CNN affiliate WJLA.

Durham and colleagues including Todd Brundidge rushed out the door toward the exit. Down the hall, they saw a man with a rifle.

“He stepped around the corner and we heard shots,” Brundidge said. What seemed like two or three seconds passed, and then “he aimed his gun at us and then he fired at least two or three shots.”

The pair provided an eyewitness account of a suspect they described as a tall black man accused by authorities of opening fire at the heavily secured Navy yard along the Anacostia River, not far from the U.S. Capitol and just blocks from where baseball’s Washington Nationals play.

Durham said the gunman was too far away to see his face, but “we could see him with the rifle and he raised and aimed at us and fired.” The shots hit high on the wall, and the group ran out of the building.

Navy Cmdr. Tim Jirus didn’t see a gunman, but he witnessed the carnage.

He told CNN he was in an alley outside Building 197 to help people get down the fire escapes. A worker from the building approached him to say he heard someone was shooting inside.

Then he heard more gunfire — two shots that apparently came from the building. The man who stood three feet from him fell to the ground, bleeding from a head wound, “and that’s when I ran,” Jirus said.

“I never met him before in my life,” said Jirus, who described himself as “lucky to be here.”

He had not heard clear gunshots earlier, but this time, he was certain.

“In the alleyway with the amount of sound reverberating, you know exactly what it is, not to mention he’s on the ground, bleeding,” Jirus said.

The shootings that began around 8:20 a.m. set off chaotic scenes inside the Navy Yard and in the redeveloped neighborhood around it, with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies converging in what seemed like a tidal wave of sirens and helicopters.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier praised the speed and cooperation by various law enforcement agencies that responded.

CaptureAfter the first call, D.C. police were on the scene “within literally two to three minutes,” she told reporters.

“Now, internal security had already engaged, identified and engaged the suspect,” Lanier continued. “We already had victims down at that point. Within seven minutes, we had active shooter teams inside the building, moving through the building.”

The first responders found “one of the worst things we’ve seen” in Washington,” according to Lanier.

“As officers entered the building, they were, you know, making transmissions in and keeping command informed as to what they were coming across as they went through,” she said. “Multiple victims. There was gunfire still going on.”

In the bureaucratic tone of police talk, she described a sporadic gun battle — “mulitple engagements” — that witnesses said lasted 40 minutes or so.

“Both metropolitan police and park police, on preliminary information, got into a final gun battle with the suspect,” Lanier said, adding there were “multiple incidents in that time frame in which there was a gunfight with a suspect,” who now was “deceased.”

Meanwhile, workers poured out of the huge Navy complex into the surrounding streets.

“Everybody was going down the stairs,” Brundidge said in describing the pandemonium. “People were pushing. People were shoving. People were falling down. After we came outside, people were climbing the wall, trying to get out over the wall. … It was just crazy.”

Paul Williams, a program coordinator at a nonprofit that works with foster children, was heading to his office nearby when he encountered what he described as a panic.

“I had my headphones in, so I didn’t know what was going on,” Williams, 29, told CNN. “I was listening to music, but I heard four rapid bangs—bang, bang, bang, bang.”

At first he thought it was construction noise that has become common in the area, but about 30 seconds later, he saw a rush of people coming toward him from the Navy Yard.

“I didn’t know what was happening. I just ran with them,” Williams said, adding that “everyone seemed scared. People were crying, people were being consoled and calling loved ones and family.”

The impact of the shootings spread through Washington. The Department of Transportation was locked down, as were some U.S. Senate offices, and the Federal Aviation Administration temporarily halted air traffic Monday morning at Reagan National Airport.

Two events Monday night — a Nationals baseball game against the Atlanta Braves and a Musica Latina event at the White House — were postponed.

To Brundidge, the encounter with a gunman was hard to believe.

“You know,” he said, “you just go to work and you never think something like this is going to happen in your building.”
TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

President Barack Obama is mourning what he called “yet another mass shooting” in the United States that he says took the life of American patriots. Obama promised to make sure, quote, “whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible.”

 

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Political analyst Tom Mockaitis joins WGN Midday News to discuss the Washington’s Navy Yard deadly shooting.

ATF agent Tom Ahern, who has worked scenes like this, including Columbine, gives us some insight on the Navy Yard shootings.

Terrorism analyst Tom Mockaitis gives us some insight on the Navy Yard shooting.

WGN’s Bob Jordan gives the latest on the Navy Yard shooting.

By Tom Cohen. Barbara Starr and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN

Washington (CNN)

There are “potentially” two other shooters whom police are looking for in the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said Monday. One suspect is dead inside the building, Lanier said.

A suspect is dead after a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, a senior Navy official said Monday.

Conflicting reports emerged about whether there was another shooter. Ed Zeigler, director of public affairs for Naval District Washington, told CNN earlier Monday that two suspected shooters were “down,” but the senior Navy official could not confirm whether there was more than one gunman.

Multiple people were killed in the deadly shooting, Zeigler said, which sent police in SWAT team gear swarming to the scene.

Helicopters hovered overhead. In one chopper, there appeared to be a police sniper peering out, with a scope at the ready.

Earlier, authorities said a gunman dressed in all black fired shots inside the Navy Yard, injuring at least 10 people.

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.

The incident started unfolding at 8:20 a.m. when several shots were fired inside the headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command in southeast Washington.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sent a team of about 20 special agents to the scene, a law enforcement official said. The team was the same group that helped apprehend Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the official said.

Police spokesman Chris Kelly described the suspect as an adult male, about 6 feet tall with a bald head and medium complexion, dressed in a black top and black jeans.

Two witnesses told CNN affiliate WJLA 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 exited the building.

“He aimed the gun and fired our way,” a man who identified himself as Todd Brundidge told WJLA, adding, “I couldn’t believe it.”

People frantically tried to run out of the building, Brundidge said.

“Everyone was going down the stairs. 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 of the spaces. It was just crazy.”

Emergency personnel, the FBI, U.S. Capitol Police and local D.C. police responded to the shooting, shutting down traffic in the area on the District’s south side along the Anacostia River. Some people are being evacuated, and others are sheltering in place.

At least eight schools were 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 but later resumed, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

A White House statement said President Barack Obama was briefed on the situation.

The headquarters — the workplace for about 3,000 people — 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.

The Washington Navy Yard — the Navy’s oldest land establishment — was created in 1799 following an act of Congress, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command. 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 Tom Cohen and Barbara Starr reported from Washington. CNN’s Catherine E. Shoichet reported from Atlanta. CNN’s Dan Merica, Larry Shaughnessy, Brian Todd, Alan Silverleib, Joe Sterling, Dan Merica, Paul Courson and Evan Perez contributed to this report.

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

Two suspected shooters “are down” at the Washington Navy Yard, according to Ed Zeigler, director of Public Affairs for Naval District Washington. Zeigler was not able to confirm whether the suspected gunmen had been taken into custody or killed.

helicopternavalshooting

“Multiple” people have been killed in the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, Zeigler told CNN’s Dan Merica.

[Original story, posted at 11:29 a.m. Monday]

10 people injured at Navy Yard; Pentagon ‘believes there has been loss of life’

(CNN) — A gunman dressed in all black fired shots Monday inside the U.S. Navy Yard, injuring at least 10 people, according to the Navy and a Washington police spokesman.

“We believe there has been loss of life and several injuries,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said. The Navy tweeted there are “several confirmed injuries with reports of fatalities.”

An “active shooter” remained inside the building, the Navy said.

Helicopters hovered overhead as police with riot and SWAT team gear swarmed the scene. In one chopper, there appeared to be a police sniper peering out, with a scope at the ready.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sent a team of about 20 special agents to the scene, a law enforcement official said. The team was the same group that helped apprehend Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the official said.

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

helicopternavalshootingThe incident occurred at 8:20 a.m. when several shots were fired inside the headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command in southeast Washington.

Police spokesman Chris Kelly described the suspect as an adult male, about 6 feet tall with a bald head and medium complexion, dressed in a black top and black jeans.

Two witnesses told CNN affiliate WJLA 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 exited the building.

“He aimed the gun and fired our way,” a man who identified himself as Todd Brundidge told WJLA, adding, “I couldn’t believe it.”

People frantically tried to run out of the building, Brundidge said.

“Everyone was going down the stairs. 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 of the spaces. It was just crazy.”

Emergency personnel, the FBI, U.S. Capitol Police and local D.C. police responded to the shooting, shutting down traffic in the area on the District’s south side along the Anacostia River. Some people are being evacuated, and others are sheltering in place.

At least six schools were on lockdown as a precaution, the Washington public schools said in a Twitter post.

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

A White House statement said President Barack Obama was briefed on the situation.

The headquarters — the workplace for about 3,000 people — 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.

The Washington Navy Yard — the Navy’s oldest land establishment — was created in 1799 following an act of Congress, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command. 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.

Despite the shooting in Washington, D.C., the Navy base north of Chicago is “open for business,” said Ken Cronk, a spokesman for the Navy’s Midwest Region.

Cronk declined to say whether extra security measures are in place.

CNN’s Dan Merica, Larry Shaughnessy, Brian Todd, Alan Silverleib, Joe Sterling, Dan Merica, Barbara Starr, Paul Courson and Evan Perez contributed to this report.

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

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