About 13 people, including the shooter, have been confirmed dead and at least 12 injured, when a gunman reportedly entered the perimeter of the secured complex of the Navy Yard in Washington DC on Monday and opened fire on the people inside. A flurry of press conferences ensued in the hours that followed the shooting and DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier asserted that, one of the shooters was dead and two others – a black male and white male – were on the loose.
Shortly afterwards, the police department tweeted that, “the white male in the tan outfit has been identified and is not a suspect or person of interest.”
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) later in the evening said there was only one shooter involved in the shooting rampage.
The reported lone shooter has been identified by the FBI – using his finger prints and ID card – as Aaron Alexis, 34, living in the Texas City of Fort Worth.
He was reportedly found with a rifle, AR-15 and a Glock pistol, according to media reports.
Alexis was once a member of the United States Navy but dismissed after being arrested in a shooting incident.
He enlisted in the Navy in 2007 and attained an AE3 (Aviation Electricians Mate 3rd Class) rank in 2009.
In his tenure as naval personnel, he was bestowed with two accolades: National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
After his discharge from the Navy, he gained employment as a naval Information Technology (IT) specialist with a government subcontractor.
A motive for the shootings is yet to arise but some friends of Alexis told CNN that, he wasn’t too happy with the way his veteran payments were being handled.
He was also said to have complained that, he was being paid minimal for contract job he performed in Tokyo, Japan.
Reports have also surfaced of Alexis playing violent video games, hours on end, before he allegedly went on the shooting spree.
Meanwhile, a woman earlier reported to have sustained gunshot injuries to the head and hand , is reported to be in stable condition and will be discharge from hospital without undergoing surgery, a hospital official said.
But a police officer who confronted the shooter and was shot multiple times on the legs went through a rigorous surgical process – in order to save his legs – because the blood vessels and bones were damaged during the shooting.
Also, a 60-year-old man was reported to have died, en route to a second hospital, from a head gunshot injury he sustained.
Washington Navy Yard is a former shipyard and ordnance plant and oldest shore establishment of the US Navy with an approximate employee count of 3000 and an estimated annual budget of about $30 billion.
Currently, it serves as a ceremonial and administrative center for the U.S. Navy – housing facilities such as Chief of Naval Operations, Naval Historical Center, the Department of Naval History, the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Naval Reactors, Marine Corps Institute, the United States Navy Band, and headquarters for the Naval Sea Systems Command and other classified facilities.
The largest of the United States Navy five system commands and located in Washington D.C., the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) – the building where the shooting incident occurred, comprises of four shipyards, nine “warfare centers” – two undersea and seven surfaces -, four major shipbuilding locations and the command’s headquarters.
The NAVSEA’s primary objective is to engineer, build and support the U.S. Navy’s fleet of ships and its combat systems.
Speaking earlier, President Barrack Obama assured that thorough investigation would be conducted into the shooting and extends thought and prayers to those affected by the incident.
“It’s a shooting that targeted our military and civilian personnel. These are men and women who were going to work, doing their job, protecting all of us. They’re patriots, and they know the dangers of serving abroad — but today, they faced unimaginable violence that they wouldn’t have expected here at home,” he said.
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