This is a developing story. Check back for updated information.
At approximately 8:15 Monday morning, Sept. 16, US Navy employees in the Washington DC area became the latest victims in an unsettling streak of mass shootings.
Although information has been and continues to be scarce, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has confirmed 12 fatalities, one presumably a gunman. Building #197, where in the incident took place, remains under lockdown until the area can be secured. The D.C. Police Department has identified the dead gunman as Aaron Alexis, 34, from Texas. He is believed to have entered the Navy building using another person’s ID. Authorities have also identified and ruled out a second, previously suspected gunman. He was not involved in the shooting and has been cleared of suspicion.
Aaron Alexis was originally from Fort Worth, Texas. Records show he was arrested in 2010 for discharging a weapon in city limits.
As the initial shock of the incident began to dissipate, helicopters could be seen rescuing evacuees from the roof of the attacked building and airlifting the wounded to nearby hospitals. Later, those same helicopters circled the building in what some have speculated to have been manhunt efforts.
Dr. Janis Orlowski of MedStar Washington Hospital Center said in a press conference that the weapon “had to be a semi-automatic” based on the wounds she’d seen. Of the three victims she is treating, one is a male police officer and two are females. All three are expected to survive their injuries.
Navy Yard workers pressed to comment said that the shooter “said nothing, he just fired.” Another employee said the gunman shot from a 4th floor overlook, aiming at people in the cafeteria.
3:15pm: NBC News reports employees previously seeking shelter during lockdown are now exiting Building 197.
4:30pm: Official death count has risen to 13, including gunman Aaron Alexis, according to D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray.
4:37pm: D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray: “we don’t know if there is a second gunman on the loose.” (via Al Jazeera America)
5:00pm: Gunman Aaron Alexis was former Navy worker, had two metals: National Defense Service and Global War on Terrorism Service (via Washington D.C. news channel wusa9). FBI declines to comment whether or not he received military training.
7:00pm: Aaron Alexis a devout Buddhist.
7:15pm: Buzzfeed’s Evan Perez says FBI has ruled out any other shooters; Alexis acted on his own.
8:30pm: Washington Post reports Aaron Alexis had security clearance to access Navy Yard, possibly discrediting earlier belief that he used another person’s ID card to sign in.
8:35pm: Navy Vice Admiral confirms 13 fatalities, including the shooter, Alexis. Of his 12 victims, all are civilians; no military personnel were killed. 14 more injured.
Several developments this morning. The AP has reported that the shooter, Aaron Alexis, was treated by the US for serious mental illness, “hearing voices.” It has also come to light that he was in the Reserves. Additionally, the victims of Monday’s shooting have been identified. They are:
Sylvia Frasier, 53; Kathleen Gaarde, 62; John Roger Johnson, 73; Frank Kohler, 50; Kenneth Proctor, 46; Vishnu Pandit, 61; Michael Arnold, 59; Arthur Daniels, 51; Mary Francis Knight, 51; Gerald L. Read, 58; Martin Bodrog, 54; and Richard Michael Ridgell, 52. Gunman Aaron Alexis was also killed in a shootout with police.
Information about Aaron Alexis continues to come out. CNN says that at least 8 prior instances of misconduct led to his Navy discharge. Although early reports indicated he used an AR-15 during the assault, authorities confirm he used a shotgun, which he brought with him, and two handguns, which he presumably obtained in the building. Despite having several arrests and charges filed against him in the past, he was able to legally obtain that shotgun the day before the shooting. While in Rhode Island a month before his rampage, Alexis called police complaining of voices in the walls threatening to attack him. They notified the Navy. Still, Alexis had no problem entering Navy Yard with his own valid ID. While it was reported earlier that Alexis was a Buddhist, friends have stated he had an Asian fetish, and was only into Buddhism for Thai woman.
More as this story develops.