UPDATE: Navy Yard Gunman Showed "Pattern of Misconduct" in Military

By: CBS News/ Associated Press Email
By: CBS News/ Associated Press Email

UPDATE: Tues 12:40 PM, Sept. 17, 2013

(CBS News) Aaron Alexis, who was identified as the alleged gunman who died in Monday's deadly mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard in the nation's capital, joined the Navy Reserves in May 2007, one day before his 28th birthday.

He then spent four years working as an aviation electrician's mate, most recently at the naval air station in Fort Worth, Texas. Military records show "a pattern of misconduct," though in January 2011 Alexis received an honorable discharge.

After leaving the service, Alexis worked as a defense contractor, and sources say he spent some time working at the Navy Yard where the shootings played out.

Alexis maintained a secret clearance from his work with the Navy.

Police records also show Alexis had been involved in two minor shooting incidents before. He was arrested in Seattle back in 2004 for shooting out another man's tires. He was arrested again in Texas in 2010 for firing a weapon into the ceiling of his apartment. He was not prosecuted in either of those cases.

Alexis also apparently was not a big presence on social networking sites, and sources say so far they cannot connect him in any way to any known threats or terror groups. But the motive for the shootings remains unknown.

Investigators believe he carried out the attack with a shotgun, and apparently acquired one, possibly two, handguns during the incident. Law enforcement sources said Monday that an assault rifle was found at the scene, but authorities said Tuesday they did not believe Alexis used an assault rifle in the attack.

He worked his way to the third and fourth floors of a building, which then looked down on an open atrium.

Sources say with that assault rifle, which is believed to be an AR-15, Alexis essentially was a sniper, able to easily target his victims from a very high vantage point. He fired a large number of shots in a relatively confined area.

Investigators are working to trace the weapons. They're also mapping the trajectory of the shots to better understand exactly how the assault played out.
The FBI is looking for help to learn more about Alexis.They've put out a poster asking anyone with information to telephone 1-800-CALL-FBI.

The poster is emblematic of how little they have about Alexis' motive in the investigation.

If you look at the idea that they have run through all of their traps and databases and they see Alexis doesn't turn up in any significant investigations and isn't mentioned in any terrorism probes, then they're still stuck on what's the possible motive.

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UPDATE: Mon 4:40 PM, Sept 16, 2013

(CBS News) WASHINGTON As many as two gunmen launched an attack Monday morning inside the Washington Navy Yard, spraying gunfire on office workers in the cafeteria and in the hallways at the heavily secured military installation in the heart of the nation's capital, authorities said. At least 13 people were killed.

One gunman was dead after he fired on a police officer, and police hunted for a second possible attacker who may have been disguised in a military-style uniform, authorities said. The gunman, identified as Aaron Alexis, 34, of Fort Worth, Texas, was killed by police during the confrontation.

"We are confronting yet another mass shooting," President Obama said Monday during remarks that were intended to address the financial crisis. "And today it happened on a military installation in our nation's capital."

A law enforcement official told CBS News' Pat Milton the shooter was discovered with an AR-15 assault rifle and a shotgun with him and was wearing dark blue clothing.

CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reports that Alexis was also found with a sidearm that authorities believe may have come from one of the Navy Yard's security officers.

Investigators said they had not established a motive for the shooting rampage, which unfolded less than four miles from the White House. As for whether it may have been a terrorist attack, Mayor Vincent Gray said: "We don't have any reason to think that at this stage."

While Alexis' motive is still not clear, officials said 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. He has lived in New York City also.

Alexis was carrying an ID card belonging to Rollie Chance, who was placed on administrative leave last October. Chance told officials he does not know Alexis.

Mr. Obama mourned the shooting and promised "whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible."

In addition to the dead, at least three people were wounded.

The area where the rampage took place, known as Building 197, was part of the headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command, which buys, builds and maintains ships, submarines and combat systems. The yard is a labyrinth of buildings protected by armed guards at gates and metal detectors, and employees have to show their IDs to come and go.

About 3,000 people work at the headquarters, many of them civilians. As a result of the incident, the Navy has issued an "Order to Account" for all Navy uniformed personnel, both active duty and selected Reserve, assigned to commands in the D.C. metro area.

Witnesses described a gunman opening fire from a fourth-floor overlook, aiming down on people in the cafeteria on the main floor. Others said a gunman fired at them in a third-floor hallway. It was not clear whether the witnesses on different floors were describing the same gunman.

Around midday, police said they were searching for two men 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. Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier said it was unclear if the men were members of the military.

But later in the day, police said in a tweet that the man in the tan uniform had been identified and was not involved in the shooting.

It was not immediately clear whether the number of dead included a gunman.

As emergency vehicles and law enforcement officers flooded streets around the complex, a helicopter hovered overhead, nearby schools were locked down and airplanes at nearby Reagan National Airport were grounded so they would not interfere with law-enforcement choppers.

A short distance away, security was beefed up at the Capitol and other federal buildings, but officials said there was no known threat.

Todd Brundidge, an executive assistant with Navy Sea Systems Command, said he and other 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 she also saw the gunman firing 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.'"

Rick Mason, a civilian program-management analyst for the Navy who works on the fourth floor of the building, said a gunman was firing from the overlook in the hallway outside his office.

Shortly after the gunfire, Mason said, someone on an overhead speaker told workers to seek shelter and later to head for the gates at the complex.

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.

Ward said security officers started directing people out of the building with guns drawn.

One person died at George Washington University Hospital of a single gunshot wound to the left temple, said Dr. Babak Sarani, director of trauma and acute care surgery. A police officer and two civilian women were in critical condition at Washington Hospital Center, said Janis Orlowski, the hospital's chief operating officer.

Orlowski said the police officer was in the operating room with gunshot wounds to the legs. The police chief said the officer was wounded when he engaged the shooter who later died.

One woman at the hospital had a gunshot wound to the shoulder. The other had gunshot wounds to the head and hand.

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.

Tech Sgt. David Reyes, who works at Andrews Air Force Base, said he was waiting to pick up his wife, Dina, who was under lockdown in a building next to where the shooting happened. She sent him a text message about being on lockdown.

"They are under lockdown because they just don't know," Reyes said. "They have to check every building in there, and they have to check every room and just, of course, a lot of rooms and a lot of buildings."

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 grounds, but that can include uniformed security officers, civilian contractors and members of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Cmdr. Timothy Jirus said he has a clearance that would allow him to carry a gun on the campus. He has a secure access card that he swipes to get into the headquarters office.

"I think the security is really good, up until today," Jirus said.

Everyone must show an ID to get through a main gate, and at the building entrance, everyone must swipe a badge to pass through either a door or gate, depending on the entrance.

That "makes me think it might have been someone who works here," Mason said.

The Navy Yard has three gates, according to its website. One is open around the clock and must be used by visitors. A second gate is only for military and civilian Defense Department employees. The third gate is for bus traffic.

The Navy Yard is part of a fast-growing neighborhood on the banks of the Anacostia River in southeast Washington, blocks from the Nationals Park baseball stadium.

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UPDATED: Mon 11:15 AM, Sept 16, 2013

(CBS News) WASHINGTON As many as 10 people have been shot at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday morning, and at least three and as many as six of those victims died from their wounds, federal and local officials told CBS News.

The Navy has confirmed that a gunman has died, reports CBS News correspondent David Martin. The identity of the shooter is unknown at this time. Officials had been searching for a possible second shooter, although there has been no confirmation that a second shooter exists.

An official told CBS News the number of victims could be higher because it is a "chaotic scene." Officials have so far provided limited information on the health of the victims, and none have been identified because families must be notified first.

Witnesses described a gunman opening fire from the fourth floor, aiming down on people in the first-floor cafeteria. Others said a gunman fired at them in a third-floor hallway.

As witnesses emerged from the building, a helicopter hovered over the building and schools were on lockdown. Less than 2 miles away, security was beefed up at the Capitol, but officials said there was no known threat there.

The Navy said about 3,000 people work in the building. People inside the building have been directed to stay in place.

In a press release, the Navy said the shooting happened at approximately 8:30 a.m. ET. Police from multiple local and federal agencies responded along with SWAT crews.

The FAA issued a ground stop on all outgoing flights for a short time Monday morning at Reagan National Airport for "security" reasons, and officials confirmed that is related to the situation in the Navy Yard. Flights are operating as normal at Dulles Airport.

United States Capitol Police said they are "providing mutual support & assistance to the Metropolitan Police Department" in a press release. They said the incident was "contained to the Navy Yard."

A White House official told CBS News President Obama has been briefed several times already on the incident, and that he would like "citizens to listen to the authorities and follow directions from the first responders on site."

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.

It builds, buys and maintains the Navy's ships and submarines and their combat systems.

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UPDATE: Mon 9:16 AM, Sept 16, 2013

(CBS News) WASHINGTON Police say 3 civilians, one D.C. officer and one base security officer have been shot at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday morning.

Officials have not offered an exact assessment of the health of the victims. An official told CBS News the number of victims could be higher because it is a "chaotic scene."

Police are looking for the shooter. He is described as a black male with a dark complexion, approximately 5'10" to 6 feet tall, 170 pounds with a black shirt and black hat, according to CBS affiliate WUSA. He is believed to be barricaded somewhere and have multiple guns. It is not clear whether or not he is a member of the Navy.

Police and emergency crews gathered Monday morning outside the heavily-guarded Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters building, where the shooting was reported.

The Navy said about 3,000 people work in the building. People inside the building have been directed to stay in place.

In a press release, the Navy said the shooting happened at approximately 8:30 a.m. ET.

United States Capitol Police said they are "providing mutual support & assistance to the Metropolitan Police Department" in a press release. They say the active shooter incident is "contained to the Navy Yard."

According to USCP, "Additionally, people may notice enhanced security operations being conducted by the USCP on the Capitol Grounds as a proactive, precautionary measure related to the active shooter incident at the Navy Yard."

The FAA has issued a ground stop on all flights until further notice at Reagan National Airport for "security" reasons, and officials confirmed to WUSA that is related to the situation in the Navy Yard.

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.

It builds, buys and maintains the Navy's ships and submarines and their combat systems.

Police from multiple local and federal agencies were responding along with SWAT crews.

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ORIGINAL STORY: Mon 8:53 AM, Sept 16, 2013

The U.S. Navy says one person is injured after a shooting at a Navy building in Washington.

Police and emergency crews gathered Monday morning outside the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters building, where the shooting was reported. The Navy says three shots were fired and that that about 3,000 people work in the building. People inside the building have been directed to stay in place.

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.

It builds, buys and maintains the Navy's ships and submarines and their combat systems. Police from multiple local and federal agencies were responding along with SWAT crews.


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