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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs