13 killed, including former Navy reservist gunman, in DC shooting
An employee at a defense contractor used his pass to get into the Washington Navy Yard and went on a deadly shooting rampage Monday, spraying bullets in the hallways and firing from a balcony on workers in an atrium below. Thirteen people were killed, including the gunman.
President Barack Obama lamented “yet another mass shooting” in the US that he said took the lives of American “patriots” and promised to make sure “whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible.” Despite a string of mass shootings, Obama has been powerless to get gun control legislation passed amid a fierce backlash from conservative politicians and the gun owners lobby.
The attack as the deadliest shooting at a US-based military installation since Maj. Nidal Hissan, an Army psychiatrist, killed 13 people and wounded 30 others in 2009 at Fort Hood in Texas. He was convicted last month and sentenced to death.
The motive for the attack was a mystery, investigators said. Mayor Vincent Gray said there was no indication it was a terrorist attack, but he added that the possibility had not been ruled out.
The attack at the highly secured Navy Yard unfolded about 8:20 a.m. in the heart of the US capital, less than four miles (6.4 kilometers) from the White House and two miles (3.2 kilometers) from the Capitol.
The gunman, Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old former Navy reservist whose last known address was in Fort Worth, Texas, died after a running gunbattle inside the building with police, investigators said.
“This is a horrific tragedy,” the mayor said.
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 attack was the work of a lone gunman, and the security 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.
The FBI took charge of the investigation.
In addition to those killed, eight people were hurt — three of them 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.
13 killed, including former Navy reservist gunman, in DC shooting | The Times of Israel