Ex-reservist accused after 12 killed at US navy yard

UPDATE: Washington police have released the names of seven of the shooter's victims:

  • Michael Arnold (59),
  • Sylvia Frasier (53),
  • Kathy Gaarde (62),
  • John Roger Johnson (73),
  • Frank Kohler (50),
  • Bernard Proctor (46) and
  • Vishnu Pandit (61)

The Washington Post is also reporting an eighth name, Arthur Daniels (51).

MONDAY: FEDERAL law enforcement officials say the man accused in a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard that left at least twelve people dead has been identified as Aaron Alexis.

The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity. At least twelve people have been killed in a shooting rampage at a naval building only a few miles from the White House.

Authorities said they were searching for another possible gunman wearing military-style clothing. Earlier, officials said they were looking for two men, but then said police had established one of them was not a suspect in the shooting

The dead suspected gunman, Alexis, was described as a 34-year-old from Texas. He is believed to have a criminal record there and to be a holder of a concealed carry weapon permit. Alexis is believed to have entered the Navy Yard by using someone else's identification card. It is not yet clear if that individual was an accomplice or if that person's ID card was stolen.

Officials said Alexis was a full-time reservist from 2007 to 2011. The Navy said that 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, of Texas, left the Navy on January 31, 2011, as a petty officer 3rd class. It was not immediately clear why he left.

Aaron Alexis, who the FBI believe to be responsible for the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard, is shown in this photo released by the FBI. He was among the dead at the scene Aaron Alexis, who the FBI believe to be responsible for the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard, is shown in this photo released by the FBI. He was among the dead at the scene

The city's mayor, Vincent Gray, said that "as far as we know, this is an isolated incident."

President Barack Obama said the shooting has "targeted military and civilian personnel." "I've been briefed by my team on the situation. We still don't know all the facts, but we do know that several people have been shot and some have been killed. So we are confronting yet another mass shooting, and it happened again on a military installation," he said. "I've made it clear to my team that we want the investigation to be seamless, so that local and federal authorities are working together."

Meanwhile, a medical official at George Washington University Hospital confirmed that a man in his 60s with a gunshot wound to his head had been pronounced dead upon his arrival from the Yard earlier in the day.

"His wound was not survivable," Dr Babak Sarani, the hospital's director of trauma and acute surgery, told reporters.

At the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, officials said three victims had been brought to the hospital. All three were in critical condition but "their chances for survival are very good," according to the hospital's chief medial officer, Janis Orlowski.

People hold their hands to their heads as they are escorted out of the building where a deadly shooting rampage occurred at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington People hold their hands to their heads as they are escorted out of the building where a deadly shooting rampage occurred at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington 

As law enforcement searched for the two other potential shooters, eyewitnesses from the Yard described the rampage. The building at the centre of the rampage is the headquarters of Navy Sea Systems Command (NSSC). In all, about 3,000 people work at the secure facility, known as building 197, including Todd Brundidge.

An executive assistant with the NSSC, Mr Brundidge told the Associated Press that he and his colleagues encountered a gunman dressed in blue in a hallway on the third floor of building.  "He just turned and started firing," he said. Later, speaking to a local TV station, he described how people began rushing out of the building. "Everyone was going down the stairs," he told WJLA. "

"They were pushing. They were shoving. People were falling down. As we came outside, people were climbing the wall trying to get over the wall to get out of the spaces. It was just crazy."

Another NSSC executive assistant, Terrie Durham, said she also saw the gunman open fire towards her and Mr Brundidge. "He aimed high and missed," she said, describing the encounter. "He said nothing. As soon as I realized he was shooting, we just said, 'Get out of the building.'"

Over in the the cafeteria, Patricia Ward, a logistics management specialist, was getting breakfast when she heard the sound of gunfire. "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," she said later, speaking to reporters near the Navy Yard.

Earlier, Navy officials told The Washington Post that, as the rampage unfolded, they had evacuated Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the chief of US Naval Operations and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife from the Yard to the Pentagon.



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