A shooting incident, still categorized as being active, took place at the United States Navy Yard in south east Washington DC today at 8:20 a.m. with at least 10 people wounded and multiple fatalities, the US Navy said.
“U.S. Navy confirms several injuries with reports of fatalities at Navy Yard Shooting,” a naval tweet reads.
The shooting at the Navy Yard – with an estimated 3000 employees – was concentrated at building 197, which is the Naval Sea Systems Command HQ building.
Washington D.C. Chief of Police Cathy Lanier said, a shooter believed to be involved in the shooting incident is dead, and a police officer who engages with the shooter inside the navy yard was shot; but in stable condition and is in surgery at the hospital.
The dead victims are reported to still be inside the yard: “We have multiple victims inside that are deceased,” Lanier confirms.
The police chief also intimated that there potentially might be two other shooters on the loose and are being sought by police.
She describes one of the probable shooters to be a black male about 50 yrs. old and was observed holding a long gun whilst the second shooter is a white male with a hand gun.
Both likely shooters are reported to be wearing military fatigue but are not believe to be military personnel.
The investigation remains active and members of the public, living in the community of the shootings, are advised to stay out of that area and in their homes; until the investigation concludes out of the area.
“The fire alarm went off first. I was on the phone and somebody came to my desk and said it’s not a fire alarm; someone has been shot in the building. So we ran around and trying to get people out of the building, and as we exiting out of the back door, we noticed him down the hall. He stepped around the corner – we heard shots. And as he came around the corner, he aimed his gun at us and he fired at least two or three shots,” an eye witness told news reporters.
A very heavy police presence at this fluid situation remains conspicuously in place, with agents from the US Marshalls, Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF), FBI, US Park police, local police department and other police units carrying K-9 dogs deeply involved in the operation.
Park police helicopters, the US military, Department of Defense, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) are also robustly involved.
A large number of ambulances and firefighters were also present.
The Nave Yard is situated just few miles from the White House, US capitol and just few blocks from the US Marine Corps – which remains open and functional. It’s a strictly restricted area that is accessed by a badge; and no one is allowed to carry a gun in its facilities but police officers and security guards.
And building 197 – where the shootings occurred – is itself a restricted building within a restricted area and how someone or people were able to gain access there with guns and undetected, remains the enigmatic question.
The Reagan International airport, few miles away, halted all air traffic earlier in the morning but operations resumed later. Seven elementary schools also, within the vicinity, were placed on lockdown.
Janis Orlowski, Chief Medical Officer at Washington Hospital Center told reporters that: the police officer had multiple gunshot injuries to the legs.
She also disclosed that a woman suffered gunshot to the shoulder whilst a second sustained gunshot to the head and hands
All three were reported to be conscious and talking but with serious injuries and in critical condition.
Witnesses and injured victims, according hospital officials, said the gunshots were fired in rapid succession – indicating a semi-automatic gun might have been used in the shootings.
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