News / USA

    Shooting Rampage Leaves 13 Dead at DC Navy Yard

    Shooting Rampage Leaves 13 Dead at DC Navy Yardi
    X
    September 17, 2013 12:59 AM
    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
    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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora