News / USA

Shooting Rampage Leaves 13 Dead at DC Navy Yard

Shooting Rampage Leaves 13 Dead at DC Navy Yardi
X
September 17, 2013
Twelve people are dead and several others wounded after a lone gunman went on shooting rampage at a U.S. Navy facility in Washington Monday. Law enforcement agencies in the nation's capital responded quickly to the scene, killing the gunman after a large-scale search at the base. VOA's Chris Simkins has more on the story.

Watch related story by Chris Simkins

TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— A U.S. military veteran opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday in a burst of violence that killed 13 people, including the gunman, and set off waves of panic at the military installation just miles from the White House and U.S. Capitol.
 
The FBI identified the suspect as Aaron Alexis, 34, of Fort Worth, Texas, a Navy contractor who had two gun-related brushes with the law. He was discharged from the Navy Reserve in 2011 after a series of misconduct issues, a Navy official said.
 
He was killed in one of several gun battles with police after he entered the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters about 8:20 a.m. (1220 GMT) and started picking off victims in a cafeteria from a fourth-floor atrium, witnesses said.
 
That set off pandemonium, with fire alarms sounding and security officers yelling at people to leave the building. Hundreds fled, some scrambling over walls to escape the gunfire. A loudspeaker announcement ordered those who remained to stay in their offices.
 
The motive remained unknown. He was armed with an AR-15 military-style assault rifle, a double-barreled shotgun and a handgun, a federal law enforcement source said.
 
About 12 people were injured, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray said, though it was unclear how many of them were shot. About 3,000 people worked in the building.
 
Hours later, police were searching for a possible second suspect in an incident that raised questions about security at the Washington Navy Yard, about a mile (1.6 km) south of the U.S. Capitol and three miles (five km) from the White House.
 
Police patrol officers and active shooter teams put an end to the rampage, shooting Alexis dead. Washington Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the gun battles produced acts of heroism she could not yet reveal.
 
“Everybody was panicking and trying to decide which way to get out. A few of us just ran out the side exit,” Patricia Ward, who works at the Navy Yard, told reporters.
 
Security guards told people to “run, run, run,” Ward said.

  • Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey present a wreath at the Navy Memorial in Washington to remember the victims of Monday's deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, Sept. 17, 2013.
  • A Navy Yard employee walks to lay a bouquet of flowers by an anchor outside of the Washington Navy Yard, Sept. 17, 2013.
  • The American flags surrounding the Washington Monument fly at half-staff as ordered by President Barack Obama, one day after the deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, Sept. 17, 2013.
  • Emergency vehicles and law enforcement personnel respond to a shooting at an entrance to the Washington Navy Yard, Sept. 16, 2013.
  • Police respond to the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, Sept. 16, 2013.
  • U.S. Capitol Police personnel keep watch on the East Plaza of the Capitol as the investigation continues to the shooting at the nearby Washington Navy Yard, Sept. 16, 2013.
  • Police who responded to shooting at the Washington Navy Yard leave the facility, Sept. 16, 2013.
  • A Metropolitan Police Department officer walks near the Washington Navy Yard, Sept. 16, 2013.
  • A police helicopter is seen as police walk on the roof of a building as they respond to a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, Sept. 16, 2013.
  • A helicopter lifts a person off the roof as police respond to the report of a shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, Sept. 16, 2013.
  • Police work the scene near the Washington Navy Yard, Sept. 16, 2013.
  • A police vehicle is seen as police respond to a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, Sept. 16, 2013.
  • Police work the scene after a gunman was reported at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, Sept. 16, 2013.

It was the worst attack at a U.S. military installation since U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan opened fire on unarmed soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009, killing 13 people and wounding 31 others. Hasan, who said he acted in retaliation for U.S. wars in Muslim countries, was convicted and sentenced to death by a military jury in August.
 
“We are confronting yet another mass shooting, and today it happened at another military installation, in our nation's capital,” said U.S. President Barack Obama, who vowed to enact “sensible” gun control measures after a gunman shot dead 20 school children and six adults at an elementary school in Connecticut last December.
 
Interest in Buddhism, Thailand
 
Alexis, a one-time Texas resident who was known to worship at a Buddhist temple, served in the military and most recently was furthering his education while holding a job in the private sector, his father, Algernon Alexis, told Reuters in a telephone interview.
 
These images released by the FBI show photos of Aaron Alexis, who police believe was a gunman at the Washington Navy Yard shooting in Washington, Sept. 16, 2013, and who was killed after he fired on a police officer.These images released by the FBI show photos of Aaron Alexis, who police believe was a gunman at the Washington Navy Yard shooting in Washington, Sept. 16, 2013, and who was killed after he fired on a police officer.
x
These images released by the FBI show photos of Aaron Alexis, who police believe was a gunman at the Washington Navy Yard shooting in Washington, Sept. 16, 2013, and who was killed after he fired on a police officer.
These images released by the FBI show photos of Aaron Alexis, who police believe was a gunman at the Washington Navy Yard shooting in Washington, Sept. 16, 2013, and who was killed after he fired on a police officer.
“This comes as a complete shock,” the elder Alexis said when told his son was the suspected shooter.
 
Alexis served full time in the U.S. Navy's Reserve from May 2007 to January 2011, becoming an aviation electrician, and he received the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, a Navy official told Reuters.
 
He was recently hired as a civilian information technology contractor to work on the Navy and Marine Corps intranet and was given a security clearance classified as “secret,” his company's chief executive told Reuters.
 
“He did have a secret clearance. And he did have a CAC (common access card),” said Thomas Hoshko, CEO of the company, called The Experts.
 
Alexis was arrested on Sept. 4, 2010, in Fort Worth, Texas, on a misdemeanor charge of discharging a firearm but the case was dropped when investigators determined he was cleaning his gun and it accidentally fired, Tarrant County prosecutors said.
 
He was also arrested in Seattle in 2004 for shooting out a construction worker's car tires in an anger-fueled “blackout” triggered by perceived “disrespect,” according to the Seattle Police Department.
 
In recent years, he developed a love for Thai culture, learning to speak the language and working at the “Happy Bowl” restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2008, said Tiki Confer, 64, owner of another Thai restaurant nearby. He worshipped at a Buddhist temple, she said.
 
“He was a very nice boy. When I saw his picture on the news, I was shocked,” Confer told Reuters.
 
U.S. Capitol Police personnel keep watch on the East Plaza of the Capitol as the investigation continues to the shooting at the nearby Washington Navy Yard, Sept. 16, 2013, in Washington.U.S. Capitol Police personnel keep watch on the East Plaza of the Capitol as the investigation continues to the shooting at the nearby Washington Navy Yard, Sept. 16, 2013, in Washington.
x
U.S. Capitol Police personnel keep watch on the East Plaza of the Capitol as the investigation continues to the shooting at the nearby Washington Navy Yard, Sept. 16, 2013, in Washington.
U.S. Capitol Police personnel keep watch on the East Plaza of the Capitol as the investigation continues to the shooting at the nearby Washington Navy Yard, Sept. 16, 2013, in Washington.
The shooting rattled the U.S. capital, forcing the Federal Aviation Administration to briefly suspend departures at Reagan National Airport. The District of Columbia Public Schools put six schools and an administration building on lockdown as a precaution.
 
The Washington Nationals baseball team postponed their game against the Atlanta Braves scheduled for Monday night at nearby Nationals Park.
 
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus called the Navy Yard shootings “an attack on the Navy family,” and the shooting revealed a potentially serious security breach.
 
Military personnel are generally banned from carrying weapons on military installations but most people with proper credentials are not routinely checked for firearms.
 
“It will be interesting to see as this develops who the shooter is, how he got in,” said Navy Commander Tim Jirus, who was in charge of evacuating the building. “Right now a lot of people are wondering just how safe the building is or just how safe the office environment is.”

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid