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13, including suspect, killed in Navy Yard shooting
13, including suspect, killed in Navy Yard shooting

13, including suspect, killed in Navy Yard shooting

Daily Mail, UK
September 16, 2013


Terror visited Washington DC this morning as at least one heavily armed gunman calmly opened fire inside a building at the Washington Navy Yard killing at least 11 people and injuring at least 12.

Named as 34-year-old civilian contractor Aaron Alexis, the Brooklyn native entered the cafeteria in the Washington D.C. military base brandishing an AR-15 rifle, shotgun and handgun and began shooting.

After SWAT teams swarmed the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command the FBI said that Alexis died following his rampage, during which witnesses said he appeared to fire at selected targets and not randomly.

Washington D.C.'s FBI field office reportedly said that they have 'all assets out' as they search for one other possible shooter they described as a black man in his 40s or his 50s.

Washington D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier said the other potential gunman was wearing a military-style uniform and has greying sideburns.

'It appears that we have at least 12 fatalities … it doesn't get much more serious than that, obviously,' said Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray.

'We have no known motive at this stage. We will continue the investigation to try and figure out what that motive is.'

Previously, Washington D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier said that law enforcement were searching for two individuals, one white and one black.

However, police have said they have identified the white individual and he's not a suspect or person of interest

'The big concern for us right now is that we have potentially two other shooters that we have not located at this point,' Lanier said earlier this afternoon.

Witnesses reported one man described as an African-American male dressed in military fatigues and armed with an AR-15 assault rifle opening fire upon entering the base at the Naval Sea System Command HQ.

Police are investigating whether the ID of a former Navy petty officer called Rollie Chance was used by Alexis to gain entrance to the the Navy Yard compound.

FBI investigators visited Chance's home Monday but have not revealed how Alexis obtained the identification.

Todd Brundidge, an executive assistant with Navy Sea Systems Command, said he and other co-workers encountered a gunman in a long hallway of their building on the third floor. The gunman was wearing all blue, he said.

'He just turned and started firing,' Brundidge said.

Patricia Ward, who works at the Navy Yard, described how she was in the cafeteria when she heard 'three gunshots, pow-pow-pow, straight in a row.'

'All of the people that were in the cafeteria, we all panicked, and we were trying to decide which way we were going to run out," she said to NBC News. "I just ran.'

Tim Hogan, a spokesman for Rep. Steven Horsford of Nevada, posted photos to his Twitter account of people helping someone who had been hit by gunfire.

The attacks came three days after al-Qaeda used the 12th anniversary of 9/11 to call for strikes on America.

The mass shooting was the deadliest in the United States since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut last December, and the worst at a military base since 13 people were killed at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.

Three people, including a Washington D.C. police officer, were admitted to MedStar Washington Hospital Center with gunshot wounds.

They are expected to survive, chief medical officer Janis Orlowski told reporters this afternoon during an emotional press conference.

Hundreds of SWAT and FBI rapid response units descended on the nation's capital to deal with the situation which unfolded just before 8.30 a.m. this morning.

The number of injured was not clear as of the early evening on Monday, but some reports placed it as high as 16.

Initial reports from the scene were that one of the suspects walked up to the facility, opened fire and then ran inside the building.

'There was three gunshots straight in a row,' said Patricia Ward, who works at the Navy Yard, describing how she first heard the gunfire while having breakfast at the headquarters building.

A few seconds later, Ward said she heard four more gunshots. Security guards rushed in and got people out as fast as they could - ''Run, run, run, 'they told people,' Ward told reporters.

NBC News, citing a senior naval officer at the Navy Yard, said at least 12 people had been shot.

'We saw him hold the rifle, and we saw him aim it in our direction,' said one witness to Fox News.

Another Navy official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said more than one gunman may have been involved. The Washington Post reported at one point that there were several gunmen.

The Navy said in a statement the shooting took place at the heavily guarded headquarters, where about 3,000 people work.

The shooting hit the military establishment less than three week after U.S. Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan was sentenced to death for murdering 13 people in 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas, where he gunned down unarmed soldiers in what he later called retaliation for U.S. wars in Muslim countries.

The Navy Yard is believed to have tight security.

Visitors without military ID must have a valid reason for entry and provide some other civilian identification.

The gates are protected by U.S. Marines and civilian security guards.

The National Museum of the U.S. Navy is in the grounds of the Navy Yard - and open to the public. However they must show ID to enter.

One victim was reported to have been shot on the roof of a building, reported News4's Tony Tull.

A U.S. Park Police helicopter lowered a basket to a building and lifted what appeared to be a shooting victim from the roof just before 10 a.m.

A Navy Yard employee told MailOnline that she thought the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard was undergoing a Fort Hood-style attack when she heard a total of nine shots on Monday morning, as a gunman opened fire on workers at one of the Navy's largest facilities.

And she added that she wished she could have carried a gun to work with her.

'A group of four of us were getting coffee down the hall and we heard three "pop, pop, pop" sounds,' said Pat - who asked MailOnline not to publish her last name.

'We all looked at each other and froze. And I said, "Oh, Jesus, here we go again. It's another Fort Hood."'

Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 and injured 30 others in a jihad-inspired attack at the Texas military base on November 5, 2009. A military panel recommended a death sentence for Hasan on August 28.

Pat, who lives in a northern Virginia suburb of Washingtno, D.C., said she heard another group of six gunshots after the first barrage.

'They couldn't have been more than 30 or 40 yards away. We didn't hear people screaming or anything. I mean, these are military folks we work with. But within a half-minute everyone was rushing down the hall and headed to the emergency exits.'

'I heard lots of voices saying, "Let's go! Now!" and in a minute or so I was outside.'

She spoke with MailOnline at a satellite parking lot adjacent to Nationals Park, where family members of Navy Yard employees met their loved ones.

Although she emerged unscathed, Pat said she would have felt safer if she had been permitted to carry her own gun to work.

'I'm a gun owner, and so is my husband,' Pat said, 'but I work in D.C. so I can't carry a weapon. Now I wish they would let us do it anyway. I felt like a fool walking around unarmed after shots were fired.'

Monday's shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. has, currently, 'no known connection to terrorism,' according to an early internal Department of Homeland Security document obtained by The Daily Caller.

'Metropolitan Police is responding to reports of shots fired at the Washington Navy Yard Base,' the DHS report reads.

'Multiple units responding including SWAT unit at this time. Subject allegedly has multiple weapons.'

Earlier, according to a source at the Joint Terrorism Task Force there is no evidence that the attack is terror related at this time.

'There are 12 dead including the shooter. The entire JTTF is active on the case. But there is no conclusion that it's terror-related but DHS is leading the investigation and police are searching for two more suspects,' a source told the MailOnline.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, President Obama said that 'We send our thoughts and prayers to all the Navy Yard who have been touched by this tragedy.'

The president spoke of how the spectre of mass shootings had reared its head in America again and said that despite the Navy Yards housing civilians as well as military personnel,'Today they faced the unimaginable violence they wouldn't have expected at home.'

The Capitol police said they were stepping up security on the Capitol grounds and the White House.

Washington police told WRC that nearby schools were being locked down, and that some bridges were being closed as a precautionary measure.

Emergency personnel are on scene and a 'shelter in place' order has been issued for Navy Yard personnel.

One suspect has been described as a black male, believed to be nearly six feet tall, wearing a military uniform and black hat, WUSA 9 News in D.C. reported.

President Obama was briefed about the shooting, according to a statement from the White House issued earlier in the morning.

'The President directed his team to stay in touch with our federal partners, including the Navy and FBI, as well as the local officials,' the statement said.

'We urge citizens to listen to the authorities and follow directions from the first responders on site.'

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