News / USA

Authorities Investigate Motive in US Shooting Rampage

Authorities Investigate Motive in US Shooting Rampagei
X
September 18, 2013 12:27 PM
Police are searching for answers into why a military veteran went on a deadly shooting rampage Monday at a U.S. naval facility in Washington. Twelve people were killed before the gunman was fatally shot by police. VOA's Chris Simkins has more on the investigation and tributes to the shooting victims.
Chris Simkins
Police are searching for answers into why a military veteran went on a deadly shooting rampage Monday at a U.S. naval facility in Washington. Twelve people were killed before the gunman was fatally shot by police.

There were moments of remembrance in the nation's capital Tuesday, honoring the 12 civilians killed and those wounded during Monday's rampage at Washington's Navy Yard. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel laid a wreath at the Navy memorial.

On Capitol Hill, the flag flew at half staff as lawmakers paused for a moment of silence.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "My thoughts are with those who are suffering as a result of the loss of their loved ones and also those people recovering from the wounds."

Just blocks from the Capitol, police pored over evidence at the crime scene.

On Monday, though, it was frantic as police rushed to the Navy Yard building after the first shots were fired.

Investigators say that's where Aaron Alexis, a former Navy reservist and civilian contractor used a valid ID to enter the command building armed with a shotgun. Witnesses say he was perched on a fourth floor balcony and shot at people below in a cafeteria. Police say officers engaged Alexis in a gun battle for more than 30 minutes before he was killed.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier described the officers as heroic.

"It's a horrible tragedy, and we hope it never happens again anywhere, much less in Washington, D.C. But I think the goal that we have is if it does happen, is to stop that harm as quickly as we possibly can and we met that goal," she said.

The FBI is looking at the gunman's past and events that may point to behavioral problems including two other shooting incidents in the last nine years. Authorities say family members have told them Alexis was seeking treatment for mental problems.  

FBI Assistant Director Valerie Parlave said, "We continue to conduct interviews, exploit digital media and run down every lead we can to piece together his recent movements and determine the motive behind his attack."    

In the New York City neighborhood where Alexis' family lives, there was shock and sympathy from those who know the gunman's mother.

A neighborhood resident said, "I know she is devastated that he killed 12 people and he got killed. So you know it's a tragic incident for the family and the community, you know, as a whole."

Back at the Naval Yard, some who witnessed the shooting say they are ready to return to work.

"Our hearts go out to the folks, and we will go back to work when the base is open again. We will do what we do each day to the best of our ability," said one Navy Yard worker.

In wake of the shooting, the Defense Department has ordered a review of security and access procedures at military facilities worldwide.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs