Live Report On Washington Navy Yard Shooting
WASHINGTON (AFP) – 5:30 EST: Alexis enlisted in the reserves in 2007 and left on January 31, 2011. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
5:14 GMT: The Navy releases biographical information on the shooter, Aaron Alexis. He was born in New York City but recently lived in Texas, where he served as a reservist Aviation Electrician’s Mate, 3rd class.
4:53 EST: More than a dozen city buses arrive at Nationals Stadium where people evacuated from the Navy Yard have been staying since the early morning.
4:40 EST: Chief Cathy Lanier confirms that the shooter was killed in a shootout with police. She says he was engaged on multiple occasions before he was finally killed.
“No question he would have kept shooting. Yes,” she says.
4:25 EST: The FBI identifies the dead shooter as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis of Fort Worth, Texas. FBI official Valerie Parlave asks the public to report any information about him to officials as they try to piece together his movements and motives.
“No piece of information is too small,’ she says.
4:19 EST: Mayor Gray announces a 13th fatality after one of the victims died of his or her wounds at a hospital.
4:15 EST: AFP’s Congressional correspondent Michael Mathes notes that while the Senate is locked down, the House of Representatives is not. Both chambers have access to the US Capitol building and while reporters are being prevented from crossing into the Senate on the first floor, there is nothing to stop them in the basement or on the third floor.
4:12 EST: Freedom Mucatw, an analyst says she was about to enter building 197 when she saw people run past her.
“The way the police just zoomed in was amazing. People were so stressed, and then relieved and grateful to be safe. I want to know the facts, I want to know if there are two other shooters, if they are Columbine grownups who just threw a tantrum or someone upset because they lost their job.”
4:02 EST: Dr. Janis Orlowski, the chief medical officer at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, gives another briefing on the status of the three patients brought to her facility. She begins by saying they are all expected to survive their injuries. One, a police officer, was shot in the legs and has been in surgery for several hours. She says it will be 24 hours before doctors will be able to assess whether he will be able to walk.
Another woman was shot in the shoulder and is currently in surgery. She is described as in “very good spirits.” Orlowski says, laughing, that the patient began ordering doctors around as soon as she arrived and had to be reminded the doctors “are in charge here.” Orlowski says the last patient at her hospital is a “very, very lucky young woman” who was shot in the hand and head, but will not require surgery since the bullets did not penetrate her skull.
3:47 EST: U.S. Navy Captain Mark Vandross says he has just been released from the building, after hiding in a conference room for more than an hour and then being debriefed by authorities.
“We were on the ground,” he says. “I was very pleased with my folks. I would be lying to you if I said we weren’t scared. But I was very pleased with my folks in that we did not panic.”
3:19 EST: Tonight’s Major League baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves has been cancelled. The teams will play two games on Tuesday instead.
3:10 EST: Survivor Terry Durham tells WJLA she saw a rifle before she saw a gunman’s face.
“He was far enough down the hall, that we couldn’t see his face,” Durham says. “But we could see him with the rifle, and he raised and aimed at us and he fired.” She says she and her colleagues ran down the hall when they were confronted by another man with a “long gun” who shot over their heads.
2:45 EST: The Washington police department announces, via Twitter, that the white man in a tan outfit they were seeking has been identified and is not a suspect or person of interest.
2:40 EST: Schools in the neighborhood remain locked. A mother of a student at Tyler Elementary School, says students have not been told what is happening outside the schoolhouse doors. They are due to be dismissed at 3:15, but will be kept inside if necessary.
2:28 EST: Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid, adjourns the Senate session for the day.
“I’ve spoken with the Sergeant at Arms, and in light of the events at the Navy Yard, we will recess the Senate until tomorrow morning,” he wrote in an official tweet.
2:16 EST: The chief gives a very specific description of the two men officials are seeking. One is white, between the ages of 40 and 50 wearing tan clothing “consistent with a Naval uniform” and a beret. The second is black, also aged between 40 and 50. He was wearing an olive “military-style uniform.” He is approximately 5 foot, 10 inches tall and 180 pounds. He has a medium complexion and graying sideburns.
She repeats that officials have no indication of motive at this time.
2:11 EST: Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier says officials are still looking for two men, seen in military-style clothes, as potential additional shooters.
“We have reason to believe these people may be involved and we need to talk to them,” she says.
She refuses to get into details about what led them to look for the two men, whether it was eye-witnesses or video evidence. She promises another update soon.
2:06 EST: The mayor says there is no known motive and added they were investigating whether or not the shooting rampage was an act of terrorism.
2:04 EST: Mayor Vincent Gray announces that “at least 12” people were killed in this shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.
1:55 EST: Officials announce they plan a press conference at 1800 GMT from the scene of the shootings.
1:35 EST: David Reyes, who is in the U.S. Air Force, tells AFP that his wife is locked in the building. He says she texted him this morning to tell him that they were on lock-down. “Her building is clear and secure. I am just waiting here in the street, worried. It is sad that sort of things happen to innocent people. It is totally surreal. You don’t believe it is true until you come down here.”
1:27 EST: Commander Tim Jirus told reporters that as he was evacuating the building when he saw a maintenance man shot.
“I’m pretty sure he was dead because he got shot in the head.”
Asked if he felt like it was a secure building, he said, “Not today!”
1:19 EST: A witness described panic inside the building after the shooting started. One man told local television station WJLA that the fire alarm went off in the building before they saw a man with a rifle in the hallway.
“He aimed the gun and fired our way,” Todd Brundidge said.
“Everyone was going down the stairs. They were pushing. They were shoving. People were falling down,” he said.
1:09 EST: Schools in the area are still on lockdown. Parents from one, eight blocks from the Navy Yard, were told their children were being held inside with the doors and windows locked.
“If we do not feel the situation has been cleared by dismissal time, we will have to make alternate plans for dismissal,” the memo said.
1:04 EST: Helicopters can be seen circling above the base as officials continue to search for the two “potential shooters.” Officials promise to brief the public again in about an hour.
12:47 EST: The Navy Yard is only 1.3 miles from Capitol Hill and 2.6 miles from the White House. It is right next to the Washington Nationals major league baseball stadium. Security is extremely tight at the facility with a military ID generally required to enter.
12:32 EST: Obama confirms only that several people have been shot and some are dead.
“So we are confronting yet another mass shooting. And today, it happened on a military installation in our nation’s capital. It’s a shooting that targeted our military and civilian personnel. These are men and women who were going to work, doing their job protecting all of us. They’re patriots. And they know the dangers of serving abroad, but today they faced the unimaginable violence that they won’t have expected here at home.
12:30 EST: President Barack Obama is being introduced to give a speech about the US economy. He was due to speak about a hour earlier, but delayed the speech due to the shooting.
12:23 EST: A surgeon at George Washington University Hospital tells reporters that one patient was pronounced dead “within a minute” of being brought to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the temple.
12:17 EST: A reporter shouted a question as to whether officials believe the shooting is an act of terrorism, but the mayor and officials end their press conference without answering questions.
12:15 EST: Lanier says police are looking for “potentially two other shooters.” She says they were not believed to be military personnel, but were seen wearing “military-type clothing.” She said they were both men, one Caucasian and one African-American.
12:14 EST: Washington police chief Cathy Lanier, confirms that one shooter was killed and one police officer shot.
12:10 EST: Washington Mayor Vincent Gray approaches the microphones. He confirms that there was at least one shooter and asks residents to stay away from the area. He says he believes the shooting is an “isolated incident.”
12:07 EST: Washington police have scheduled a briefing for 11:15 EST to update reporters on the shooting.
Media reports are conflicting at this time, but officials have told AFP that at least one unidentified gunman opened fire at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington early Monday and was at large after killing “multiple” victims and wounding several more, officials said.
“We believe there were multiple deaths,” a U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP. The precise death toll remains unclear.
About 3,000 people work at the facility, which is responsible for building and buying U.S. warships and combat systems.