Updates at the end of the post
At 08:15, an active shooter entered the Washington Navy Yard, building 197, and started shooting. Police responded to calls for help within 7 minutes. One shooter, whose identity was not released, was a bald black man about 6 foot tall is dead in building 197 after having taken several lives. It is not known if he committed suicide. It is obvious his attack was well-planned and intended to kill as many people as possible.
There are two potentially unlocated shooters but this is NOT confirmed.
The potentially missing shooters: One white male in a naval khaki uniform and a beret has not been seen since 08:35. Another black man about 50, carrying a long gun, was dressed in olive green and is missing.
There is no reason to believe the two missing, ‘potential’ shooters are military though they were dressed in military-style clothing. It is believed the one shooter worked his way up through the building by shooting when he was about to be refused entrance [Update: He used a valid pass to get onto the base. It is not known if he had the second pass needed to get into building 197. The FBI said he did NOT shoot his way into the building]. To get on the base, a shooter would need ID and would be screened in a robust manner. It is believed to be an inside job.
A police officer was engaged in a gun battle with one shooter and is out of surgery, doing well. There are multiple deaths and injuries.
The officials gave a press conference a few minutes ago and gave no indication of motive but they did say this appears to be an isolated incident. Is it workplace violence of the Fort Hood type?
Andrews Air Force base has not had any shootings despite earlier reports.
It is much too early to discuss why this attack took place, however, last week, Al-Zawahiri released a video telling his followers to attack US and Western interests, small and large, whenever and wherever possible.
The Bipartisan Policy Center recently released a report and said our greatest danger are the rogue domestic terrorists who live among us.
President Obama is giving his economic speech but began by saying we are seeing yet ‘another mass shooting.’ He made a veiled reference to the need for gun control as the way to end mass shootings. He did mention ‘targeting’ of military personnel. He also called it an isolated incident insinuating it is not terrorism, but he declined to answer when asked if it was terrorism-related.
Update: 16:00: Aaron Alexis, age 34, has been identified as the deceased shooter. He was arrested in 2010 for discharging his weapon. The charges were dismissed.
One of the alleged shooters – the white man – has been identified and has been cleared. The officials don’t know if the second suspect is also a shooter and they are looking for him.
Aaron Alexis had the ID of a man who worked at the Navy Yard but that man has also been cleared. It is not known if Alexis worked at the Navy Yard.
There are 12 confirmed fatalities.
Update: 16:22: There is no reason to suspect terrorism but they can’t rule it out. They don’t know Alexis’ motive. They have not located the potential second suspect.
There are 13 deceased.
The deceased shooter, Aaron Alexis’ last known address was in Ft. Worth, Texas (in the Navy). He also lived in Seattle, Washington.
The ID he used was stolen from an employee by the name of Rollie Chance.
Eyewitnesses said the shooter said nothing.
He raised his gun and started shooting.
Alexis spent nearly four years in the Navy as a full-time reservist from May 2007 until he was discharged in January 2011, according to a summary of his personnel records released by Navy officials at the Pentagon. Alexis achieved his final rank of Aviation Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class in December 2009. He received two medals commonly given to military. (Washington Post)
A story posted on the Web site of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Monday said that Alexis was arrested in 2010 for illegally discharging a firearm. The paper cited a Fort Worth police report that said police had been dispatched to Alexis’ apartment complex about 6:40 p.m. Sept. 4, 2010, on a report that someone had fired a shot through the floor and into the ceiling of a woman’s apartment.
The woman in the apartment said that he had been complaining about noise from her apartment before the event.
Police found that Alexis had fired a shot through the ceiling of his apartment, missing his upstairs neighbor by a few feet. Alexis later said his gun had gone off while he was cleaning it, the paper said.
Navy officials have not determined if had recently started working at the Navy Yard as a contractor.
Alexis was consistently described as detached.
Update: 18:07: Alexis was a Buddhist allegedly. That is questionable.
He told friends that he voluntarily left the reserves because he didn’t like getting up early in the morning.
Update: 21:50: Authorities confirmed that there is one shooter, Aaron Alexis.
Alexis was discharged from the Army for behavioral problems and because of a 2010 arrest. He had multiple civilian arrests in different states on his record. The arrest in 2010 was for shooting into a neighbor’s apartment after he complained that she made noise. The charges were dismissed. He claimed his weapon accidentally discharged while he was cleaning it.
He shot out co-worker’s tires near his home ten years ago because he believed they mocked him.
He did work as a civilian contractor and it is unknown how he got clearance with his background. He had the ID to get onto the grounds but it is unknown how he got into the building with a loaded rifle.
Maybe the NSA should stop listening to our phone calls and reading our emails and start profiling criminals.
Update: 9/17: The shooter entered the building with one gun. He had a legitimate pass as a civilian contractor. He shot at least one guard. Most of the carnage was on the 3rd and 4th floors. The 4th floor looks down at an atrium cafeteria and he just kept shooting the people eating at that time.
He picked up an AR-15 and another gun while in the facility, one from an officer he shot.
He is said to have told friends that he had PTSD from rescuing people during 9/11.
It is still not known what his motives were.
He had serious anger and mental health issues. He was being treated by the VA for serious conduct disorders, paranoia, sleep problems and he was hearing voices.
He worked as a defense contractor and worked in five different buildings. He was employed by a company called The Expert. The company said they thoroughly screened him and nothing untoward came up.
FBI photo of Aaron Alexis. The FBI is asking for assistance in this matter.
Booking mugshot from arrest in 2010
Photo of Washington Navy Yard with building 197 to the left.