UPDATE: 12 dead in Washington shooting

Defense contract employee, former Navy reservist, opens fire in Washington Navy Yard building; eight wounded.
Associated Press
Sep 17, 2013

 

The deadly attack at the Washington Navy Yard was carried out by one of the military's own: a defense contract employee and former Navy reservist who used a valid pass to get onto the installation and started firing inside a building, killing 12 people before he was slain in a gun battle with police.

View photos from the shooting/aftermath HERE

The motive for the mass shooting — the deadliest on a military installation in the U.S. since the tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009 — was a mystery, investigators said. But a profile of the lone gunman, a 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, was coming into focus. He was described as a Buddhist who had also had flares of rage, complained about the Navy and being a victim of discrimination and had several run-ins with law enforcement, including two shootings.
 
U.S. law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that Alexis had been suffering a host of serious mental issues, including paranoia and a sleep disorder. He also had been hearing voices in his head, the officials said. Alexis had been treated since August by the Veterans Administration for his mental problems, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the criminal investigation in the case was continuing.
 
The Navy had not declared him mentally unfit, which would have rescinded a security clearance Alexis had from his earlier time in the Navy Reserves.
 
Family members told investigators Alexis was being treated for his mental issues.
 
The officials also said there has been no connection to international or domestic terrorism and investigators have found no manifesto or other writings suggesting a political or religious motivation for the shooting.
 
Monday's onslaught at a single building at the highly secure Navy Yard unfolded about 8:20 a.m. in the heart of the nation's capital, less than four miles from the White House and two miles from the Capitol.
 
It put all of Washington on edge. Mayor Vincent Gray said there was no indication it was a terrorist attack, but he added that the possibility had not been ruled out.
 
"This is a horrific tragedy," Gray said.
 
Alexis carried three weapons: an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun, and a handgun that he took from a police officer at the scene, according to two federal law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation. The AR-15 is the same type of rifle used in last year's mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school that killed 20 students and six women. The weapon was also used in the shooting at a Colorado movie theater that killed 12 and wounded 70.
 
For much of the day, authorities said they were looking for a possible second attacker who may have been disguised in an olive-drab military-style uniform. But by late Monday night, they said they were convinced the shooting was the work of a lone gunman, and the lockdown around the area was eased.
 
"We do now feel comfortable that we have the single and sole person responsible for the loss of life inside the base today," Washington police Chief Cathy Lanier said.
 
President Barack Obama lamented yet another mass shooting in the U.S. that he said took the lives of American "patriots." He promised to make sure "whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible."
 
The FBI took charge of the investigation.
 
The attack came four years after Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan killed 13 people at Fort Hood in what he said was an effort to save the lives of Muslims overseas. He was convicted last month and sentenced to death.
 
In addition to those killed at the Navy Yard, eight people were hurt, including three who were shot and wounded, according to the mayor. Those three were a police officer and two female civilians, authorities said. They were all expected to survive.
 
The dead ranged in age from 46 to 73, according to the mayor. A number of the victims were civilian employees and contractors, rather than active-duty military personnel, the police chief said.
 
At the time of the rampage, Alexis was an employee with The Experts, a company that was a Defense Department subcontractor on a Navy-Marine Corps computer project, authorities said.
 
Valerie Parlave, head of the FBI's field office in Washington, said Alexis had access to the Navy Yard as a defense contractor and used a valid pass.
 
Alexis had been a full-time Navy reservist from 2007 to early 2011, leaving as a petty officer third class, the Navy said. It did not say why he left. He had been an aviation electrician's mate with a unit in Fort Worth.
 
A convert to Buddhism who grew up in New York City, Alexis had had run-ins with the law over shooting incidents in 2004 and 2010 in Fort Worth and Seattle and was portrayed in police reports as seething with anger.
 
The Washington Navy Yard is a sprawling, 41-acre labyrinth of buildings and streets protected by armed guards and metal detectors, and employees have to show their IDs at doors and gates. More than 18,000 people work there.
 
The rampage took place at Building 197, the headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command, which buys, builds and maintains ships and submarines. About 3,000 people work at headquarters, many of them civilians.
 
Witnesses on Monday described a gunman opening fire from a fourth-floor overlook, aiming down on people on the main floor, which includes a glass-walled cafeteria. Others said a gunman fired at them in a third-floor hallway.
 
Patricia Ward, a logistics-management specialist, said she was in the cafeteria getting breakfast.
 
"It was three gunshots straight in a row — pop, pop, pop. Three seconds later, it was pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, so it was like about a total of seven gunshots, and we just started running," Ward said.
 
Todd Brundidge, an executive assistant with Navy Sea Systems Command, said he and co-workers encountered a gunman in a long hallway on the third floor. The gunman was wearing all blue, he said.
 
"He just turned and started firing," Brundidge said.
 
Terrie Durham, an executive assistant with the same agency, said the gunman fired toward her and Brundidge.
 
"He aimed high and missed," she said. "He said nothing. As soon as I realized he was shooting, we just said, 'Get out of the building.'"
 
Officials announced early Tuesday that streets around the Navy Yard that were closed after the shooting were re-opened for the morning commute.
 
As emergency vehicles and law enforcement officers flooded the streets Monday, a helicopter hovered, nearby schools were locked down and airplanes at Reagan National Airport were grounded so they would not interfere with law-enforcement choppers.
 
In the confusion, police said around midday that they were searching for two accomplices who may have taken part in the attack — one carrying a handgun and wearing a tan Navy-style uniform and a beret, the other armed with a long gun and wearing an olive-green uniform. Police said it was unclear if the men were members of the military.
 
But as the day wore, police dropped one person and then the other as suspects. As tensions eased, Navy Yard employees were gradually released from the complex, and children were let out of their locked-down schools.
 
Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, was at the base at the time the shooting began but was moved unharmed to a nearby military installation.
 
Anxious relatives and friends of those who work at the complex waited to hear from loved ones.
 

Comments

VOTENO

Barack is not protecting us too well.

ladydye_5

Right in his own backyard too.

Ehovemom

Very confused by this comment? Is it a statement for gun control? Is it a statement about the segregation of the mentally ill? Is it a statement pro-Zimmerman? He isn't protecting motorcycle riders much either, huh?

Ehovemom

Or do you mean he should let Texas secede from the union since this guy is from Texas? Or should we just declare war on Texas? Or declare war on all contractors since he is a contractor?

shucks

@ VOTENO- that was a stupid comment.

Perkins2060

I liked the comment.

shucks

Well- that means you agree with a stupid comment.

Perkins2060

You're a liberal. I really don't care what you think.

Pete

Since when did liberals start thinking?

shucks

You're stupid. I don't care what you think.

JudgeMeNot

I can see Putin's shoe print on Obama's a$$ from my house.

shucks

I can see Obama's a$$ from my house too.

Oops, that's your face.

From the Grave

We all end up together, 6 feet under.

shucks

Very true.

JudgeMeNot

I can see Putin's shoe print on Obama's a$$ from my house.

shucks

I can see Obama's a$$ from my house too.

Oops, that's your face.

santown419

Neither did bush 9/11 ,DC sniper come to mind in his backyard.

registerer

Just wondering how he got in there with weapons.

JudgeMeNot

Wonder if the media is digging around trying to find out if this murderer belongs to the Tea Party? I bet the shooter was carrying his Democrat Party voter registration card.

deertracker

Is there anything that happens on this planet that is not his fault? SMDH!

VOTENO

Oh, this must still be Bush's fault.

deertracker

Maybe just maybe it's the gunman's fault! Imagine that!

VOTENO

Gotta be Bush's fault somehow. Barack Hussein will shift blame somehow. Gotta love gun free zones.

deertracker

Does it make you feel good to use his middle name as it is his last name? You need to be more subtle and less transparent!

Perkins2060

Barack Hussein Obama!

bnjjad

President Barack Hussein Obama! or Mr. President. everyone used to address the president with respect, now with him in office it all went out the window.

JudgeMeNot

20 bucks says the shooter was a devout Obama supporter.

Rosa

You all sound like you are half nuts...OMG, who blames the democratic or republican party for lunatics, they are everywhere...especially on here making their crazy comments....

arnmcrmn

Who blames? The left do everyday. They still think Bush was at fault for 911.

shucks

The right still believes he wasn't at fault for 9/11.

goofus

Dude, talk about your conspiracy theories, you sure can spit them out musta been too much huffpo.

Try reading the 911 report some time along with Jamie Gorelick's wall,

swiss cheese kat

Rosa, Lefty liberals and their allies in the media, are already blaming gun owners and the NRA for the horrific attack that left at least 12 dead.

Darwin's choice

pot, kettle!

From the Grave

VOTEDIE

JudgeMeNot

If Obama had a psychotic homicidal gun-toting younger brother he'd look like Aaron Alexis.

shucks

You have mental problems.
I hope you don't own a gun.
I shouldn't worry.......you wouldn't know which end to point.

BEHAPPY

Terrorists? How can we tell the difference anymore? Too many from different countries in the U.S. to even know the difference anymore. Can't be safe when it could be your neighbor you should be watching out for.

bnjjad

Terrorists cannot be classified by their nationality or their race.

The Big Dog's back

Declare Texas a Terrorist State.

JudgeMeNot

Truth and Common SENSE, 2 words, are foreign to a liberal. They despise truth and common sense. Hence their love for Obama.

shucks

JudgeMeNot - you lack intelligence.

swiss cheese kat

4sizzle - you also lack intelligence.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BUOl...

shucks

... and so do you - swiss cheese rat

arnmcrmn

more name calling from shizzle and gang....what...you aren't surprised?

grandmasgirl

Here we go again. It has to be someone's fault. God forbid we blame the people responsible!!! In cases like this bring back the death penalty and bring it back so that you don't get to live in luxury for another 10 or 15 years. Make justice swift. Why should you worry about doing wrong if you can sit in prison, play basketball, have all the books or TV you want (and as you all know, the list goes on). Funny how we want to hunt down and kill the foreigners who hurt us or don't think like we do, but if they are one of us......"they must be mentally ill". Makes me want to puke.

ladydye_5

I agree. You know when you join the military the oath you take says...."against all enemies, foreign AND domestic". I agree..should not matter if you are a domestic or foreign terrorist. Same goes for the Army Major that killed the soldiers, there should be no appeals for him. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. There were witnesses, evidence, he admitted his own guilt. Death by firing squad. Make those responsible pay for their crimes. Do not candy coat it. Do NOT make excuses.

deertracker

The guy is dead ladies! You can sleep well tonight.

rjk1915

How did Texas get into this story ? And do you think Obama has time to deal with these details ? I wouldn't want to appear that ____ .

ladydye_5

The man responsible and dead, the gunman is from Texas.

nobodycares

IF OBAMA HAD A SON HE WOULD LOOK LIKE THE SHOOTER !! NOW THAT THEY HAVE IDENTIFIED HIM LETS SEE IF JESSE AND AL SHOW UP !!

Perkins2060

Like

deertracker

Dislike!!!!!!!!!!!

deertracker

What would your son look like? E.T.? The Sandy Hook shooter? The theatre shooter? The 9/11 terrorists? Who?

Perkins2060

The DC highway shooter. Oh wait.

starryeyes83

Ditto.

I bet Obama is so wishing he would have kept his comments to himself on that one.

shucks

@ nobodycares -that was an idiotic comment.

Perkins2060

I liked that comment.

shucks

So, you like idiotic comments.

Perkins2060

You're a liberal. That's a lot worse.

shucks

You like and make idiotic statements - obviously you must be an idiot.

swiss cheese kat

OH shut up with your rubbish. The world does not revolve around you.

shucks

Apparently, you don't have a mind of your own.

Typical of Obama haters.

santown419

You can't argue with this idiot. He is the same one who tried to say just because a lady had a screen name close to his that means they were stalking him.

shucks

thank you.

santown419

Well some of the people shot were white let's see you show up. Oh I forgot the you to coward to.

arnmcrmn

If it was a white shooter hearing voices that killed a bunch of black guys, bet your butt Al and Jesse and Obie would be front and center making it racial. This case doesn't fit their agenda and everyone with common sense sees that.

Darwin's choice

Well, we're assured that the shooter(s) are not terrorist's, because Obama said he would hold them accountable.......

Also read the shooter was retired vet? Shame on this administration for NOT getting our veterans the help and support they need!

Latest report is he is a veteran, but not a combat veteran. May have recently lost his job....

deertracker

How ridiculous a statement Dagwood!

shucks

Par for the course.

Darwin's choice

From the resident azzhat and his minion....hahahahahahahaha!!!

So tell me, shizzle, do you think that our vets are getting the help they need? Please list what being done for them by you moron democrats!

shucks

This has been discussed before.
Ain't gonna run it by you again , knot-head...............hahahahahahahaha!!!

Darwin's choice

You've got nothing! Again!

shucks

hahahahahahahaha!!!

swiss cheese kat

That was a lot of words.

BULLISDEEP's picture
BULLISDEEP

NOT RETIRED VET

While Alexis' motive is still not clear, his military record showed that he is a former avionics electrician with the U.S. Navy. He had been arrested at least twice previously: once in Seattle for malicious mischief, and once in Fort Worth in 2010 for discharging a firearm in public. His home of record in his military record was listed as New York City.

Alexis enlisted in the military May 5, 2007, and received initial training outside Chicago before eventually serving in Fort Worth, according to his record. During his time in the Navy, he was awarded a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and a National Defense Service Medal.

ladydye_5

He had a general discharge....agree with you he is NOT retired.

Bottom Line

If I didn't know better I'd say deertracker was 11 years old. Just disregards facts and incorrectly uses adjectives. Very little else.

Perkins2060

She's a liberal. What do you expect?

Darwin's choice

True! Prime example of sheeple.....baaaaaaa! Obaaaaaaaama.......

swiss cheese kat

Obama hangovers for the liberal sheep.

deertracker

Go away!

rippedhippy1

A black mass murderer? No way! Let's hear from the brothers about this! And he is from New York, just living in Texas.

The Big Dog's back

Guns don't kill. Guns with bullets kill.

JudgeMeNot

PREDICTION: Liberal idiots like you will keep preaching gun control which causes more Americans to buy AR-15's.

OMGreally

wow what a sad people you are in sandusky...people getting killed in DC and all you want to do is play blame games on each other..politics is a joke in this country and you only add to it...

bnjjad

I know right? Its the democrats fault, its the republicans fault. Back and forth and realistically his political affiliation more than likely has nothing to do with it nor does either of the political parties. Nothing like blaming a political party for the actions of a independent person.

santown419

Every single one of these idiots are not from Sandusky.

shucks

Interesting--they don't have brains or a life.

KnuckleDragger

Speak for yourself.

shucks

So you don't live in Sandusky ?

And if you don't, you probably comment in other cities and if that's the case - you REALLY don't have a life and the brains to do something better.

OMGreally

Yep live in Sandusky, and trust me have a brain...

2cents's picture
2cents

Just drove back from Cleveland getting the scoop from three news stations. It appears that this was a guy with anger issues, he loved violent interactive video games, he was discharged from navy, was working as a sub contractor for HP, he had law issues about three times, Texas, Georgia and somewhere else. Sounds like a man with a big chip on his shoulders and wanted to blame everyone but himself.

Just my 2cents for now!

EZOB

Our Leaders say:
Don't judge all Muslims by the acts of a few crazed Lunaics BUT
They encourage everyone to judge all Law abiding gun owners by the actions of a few crazed Lunatics.

santown419

Let me guess false news told you this.

deertracker

BINGO!

KnuckleDragger

^^can't dispute it?...Blame fox news. LMAO! You libs are so predictable. Queertracker and yourself are apparently too simple minded to see the irony in what he just said.

santown419

Its funny I havent voted as a lib in along time yet another lie you tell. You can't tell the truth if your family life depends on it. Since you and your little buddies live by false news lies.

KnuckleDragger

The jokes on you, because I haven't watched fox news in probably 3 yrs now. It's more entertaining to watch the screwball liberals on MSNBC.

santown419

Let me guess false news told you this.

The Big Dog's back

LMAO!

EZOB

He lived in New York and was trained around Chicago?? I think he's been in Combat areas that's why He received the medals.

KnuckleDragger

True, to get the GWOT medal you have to serve at least 30 consecutive days in an antiterrorism operation. Looks like another war vet that the VA mental health system let slip through the cracks. Really, this has nothing to do with Obama, the VA mental health system has been broke for decades.

santown419

Finally you tell the truth instead of all that race bs and all those lies. I was wrong you can tell the truth sometimes.

KnuckleDragger

It's the lefties who keep bringing up race. Please post any comment of mine where I brought up race at all unless it was brought up by a lefty first. I could care less about Obama's race, I don't like his politics or think he is doing a good job. If it was Hilary Clinton, or Joe Biden as President, and the same things were happening, I would be criticizing them. Nonetheless, this has nothing to do with Obama. As a veteran, I think our government should be ashamed of themselves for the dismal care that they are giving to these war vets. One thing is for sure, this one can't be hung on Obama, it is congress that funds the VA and the are doing a pi$$ poor job of providing adequate funding for mental health care.

arnmcrmn

Obama is more WHITE than anything. Liberals forget hes only 6% black. lol.

ladydye_5

The VA system PERIOD is broke. Does not matter what part of it you speak of. The IDIOTS on Capital Hill (all of them included Dems, Repubs, Teas, Aliens, Men, Women, Whoever) have defunded, screwed and want to further change, remove and backstab veterans to the point of (IMO) spit on them. No matter if it is a Korean Veteran, Vietnam Veteran or an Iraqi Freedom Veteran it takes too long to receive TOO LITTLE. It is disgusting the way our government treats these men/women. But these same IDIOTS on Capital Hill want to fund ILLEGAL ALIENS with healthcare, education, and other benefits to the point of making them US CITIZENS FOR FREE!!!!! THIS IS WHAT IS WRONG!!!! We need to take care of our own before we take care of others. Stop the money to other counties, Egypt, Syria, etc. Stop the money to fund illegals. Take care of the Veterans! Take care of the homeless, hungry children in America! Take care of us first.

KnuckleDragger

Amen to that sister!!!

Julie R.

Might as well face it. All these shootings have become the new normal in America.

deertracker

Agreed!

santown419

It is very disappointing that it has to be the truth.

KnuckleDragger

They will continue to be as long as our government keeps putting symbolism over substance. Strengthen the mental health system in this country, put the mentally defective away and not out on the streets. Problem solved.

Pterocarya frax...

That is going to cost a lot of money. You willing to pay to get it done???

grumpy

"Strengthen the mental health system in this country, put the mentally defective away and not out on the streets. Problem solved."

Sounds good until you realize the ACLU will get involved and put a screeching halt to that. It was one of the reasons doing just that was stopped in the 80's. Nothing was done to replace doing it, as they couldn't figure how to put such people away against their will and not face lawsuits from the ACLU. Once the person stablises on the meds they can't be held, the meds make them feel loopy and they go off the meds... and do the same things again. How do you force them to take meds if they don't wish to? How do you keep them in an institution when they are on their meds? It is a circle, with no answer.

The Big Dog's back

It had nothing to do with the ACLU derp.
http://www.nytimes.com/1984/10/3...

Stop It

Might as well face it. The media and corporate run this country. They are one in the same and they buy OUR gov't. Accept it, fight it, or leave it.

And why did I get sent to a second page for the above comment? Just to fill out a captcha? No body is watching those words I typed?

Stop It

captcha..MwA34t

EZOB

sandtown,
Wrong again! I don't watch CNN, ABC, CNBC, or any other American news stations. I got it off the Muslim Channel who preach, "Why kill one with a bullet when you can get 30-40 with a bomb".

Centauri

"Naval Sea Systems Command is the largest of the Navy's five system commands and accounts for a quarter of the Navy's entire budget. ONLY security personnel were allowed to be armed on the campus."

How long did it take the ARMED security personnel to get to the scene? 12 people died.

arnmcrmn

Just more reason to get your CCW and stop having these gun free zones. America is to big and has to many lunatics that we will never be able to spot until they kill.

Buy guns and ammo and protect yourself.

swiss cheese kat

You know Obama and his media sheep will shamelessly use this to further their gun agenda.

arnmcrmn

Its a certain they will try. Problem is more and more Americans with common sense are waking up each day and realizing that it probably is a good idea to have a gun or two around the house and possibly carry one. To many whack jobs out there that we will never know about until they do something like this.

Get your CCW, carry, know your rights and protect your family and friends people.

arnmcrmn

You know if this was a white guy Al and Jesse would be all over the media calling it a racial killing..right along with CNN, MSNBC and all the other lib networks.

swiss cheese kat

CNN, MSNBC and all the other liberal networks ignore meaningful news and pander to their liberal ideology. Those are two of the worst news networks ever, especially MSNBC.

The Big Dog's back

Just when you can agree on things with the right, the right wingnuts come on and post garbage like this. Reign in the right wingnuts and we could move forward.

Darwin's choice

You are an incredible fool. You of all people posting here, should talk of posting garbage! The un-ending venom you spew is laughable. If the topic isn't Obama, you're absent. Troll! You blind followers of the failure from behind are stupendous!

shucks

@Darwin's reject

More trash spoken by the patron saint of idiots , hypocrites ,and trolls.
YOU really are an incredible fool.

arnmcrmn

Still waiting for Al and Jesse and Obie to get on TV and in the papers as much as they did with that thug Martin......still waiting but wont happen in this case.

KURTje

So many members of the Prometheus Society commenting. erlyloe

shucks

no doubt

DCOLE 67

The Sandusky Register is an over obviously liberal newspaper. Any conservative idea is taken for idiotic to the people who write this crap paper. This article is not very different. This article was written to show how our laws are too lax and something needs to be done, but in reality it did the opposite. This article showed that no matter the laws written to stop crazy people such as this man, we cannot fix crazy. Criminals will be criminals. Drugs are illegal but criminals possess them. Why would guns be any different? Want to protect your people, let them defend themselves.

rezzy

I can't believe those guns fired themselves at all of those people! Guns are horrible! Truth is that the statement you just read is as stupid as the statements blaming guns for this violence. This man would have driven over people or used a knife or simply used illegal guns. The other truth is that these killers need to be dealt with by execution (firing squad) that should be made known to the public. Also, the media should not be allowed to report on these incidents more than one time limiting the glory these stooges get. Ban guns and the folks who legally own them for their lively hoods in places like rural Alaska pay the price. The thugs losers will still get them illegally. Done