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US Naval Yard shooting

DC Shooting

(CNN) – Authorities say at least 12 people were killed in a rampage at the headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command in southeast Washington, where witnesses described a terrifying, chaotic scene that began unfolding at 8:15 a.m. ET.

 

 

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(CNN) — Aaron Alexis, the man who went on the deadly shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, was under the “delusional belief that he was being controlled or influenced by electro-magnetic waves,” the FBI’s Valerie Parlave said Wednesday.

Parlave, assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, said Alexis acted alone and there was no evidence he was targeting particular people.

Alexis, who was 34, went on the rampage September 16, killing 12 people and wounded several others. Chilling video released Wednesday shows Alexis running through hallways with a sawed-off shotgun. He also gained access to and used a Beretta pistol during the shooting.

Navy Yard Shooter

(Image from FBI video)

The investigation indicates that Alexis “was prepared to die during the attack and that he accepted death as the inevitable consequence of his actions,” Parlave said, citing electronic media recovered from the shooter’s belongings.

Phrases were also scrawled onto Alexis’ shotgun, Parlave said. They read: “End to the torment,” “Not what y’all say,” and “Better off this way.”

He also wrote “My ELF weapon,” which is believed to be a reference to “extremely low frequency or ELF electro-magnetic waves.”

Also, the FBI said, a document retrieved from the shooter’s electronic media said: “Ultra low frequency attack is what I’ve been subject to for the last 3 months, and to be perfectly honest that is what has driven me to this.”

“ELF technology was a legitimate program for Naval sub-tonal submarine communications,” Parlave said. “However, conspiracy theories exist which misinterpret its application as the weaponization of remote neural frequencies for government monitoring and manipulation of unsuspecting citizens.”

NEW YORK (PIX11) - 20 years after a gunman named Colin Ferguson boarded a Long Island Railroad train in Jamaica, Queens–bound for Garden City–we’re still debating the reasons why red flags are missed, before a killer takes out a mass number of casualties.

Ferguson killed six commuters on December 7th, 1993, in Car # 3 of the 5:33 pm train to Garden City from Penn Station, New York. He was wrestled to the ground and later arrested by police.  Detectives found Ferguson was carrying pages of notes raging about racism, claiming Adelphi Universty had discriminated against him, along with the Workman’s Compensation Board.

Dr. Patrick Suraci, a Manhattan psychologist, said Ferguson probably acted out his rage as a way to vindicate his feelings of persecution.  Suraci said it’s often hard to predict which person will act out with violence.

We spoke to Suraci about the recent case of Aaron Alexis, who used a shotgun Monday to execute 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard.  Alexis, 34, had a history of disciplinary trouble, when he was a Navy reservist and contractor.  He had several arrests for firing his gun in various states.  Back in August, he summoned Rhode Island police to his hotel, claiming people were chasing him and he heard voices saying they were using a microwave machine to send vibrations into his body.

Suraci said this was a sign Alexis was suffering from auditory hallucinations–and the psychologist suggested Rhode Island police should have followed up and asked him what he was planning to do about the voices.  The police did pass on information about the incident to naval personnel in Newport, but the report apparently never reached supervisors in Washington.  Alexis was able to gain access to the Navy Yard on Monday to begin his murderous rampage. He was fatally shot by Washington police officers, before he could kill any more people.

NEW YORK (PIX11) - Not long after the mother of the Navy Yard killer, Aaron Alexis, learned her 34-year old son had been shot dead by Washington, D.C. police officers–ending his murderous rampage–the media descended on her home in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.  Within 48 hours, Cathleen Alexis made the decision to read a brief statement–audio only.  Her voice revealed the pain she was feeling.  “I am so very sorry to the families of the victims,” she said, in closing. “My heart is broken.”

Cathleen Alexis’ only son fatally shot 12 innocent people in the Washington Navy Yard on Monday.

Peter Lanza’s youngest son, Adam,  slaughtered 20 first-graders in Newtown, Connecticut last December–along with six, school administrators.  His ex-wife, Nancy, was killed before the executions at Sandy Hook Elementary.  It was Nancy who had bought the AR-15 assault rifle and taught her son how to use it. 

But Peter Lanza, living with a second wife in Stamford, was sought out by at least one family of a six year old girl who died at Sandy Hook.  The parents wanted to know Adam Lanza’s medical history and how Peter and Nancy Lanza had interacted, when they were still married.  Peter Lanza has now put his house on the market in Stamford.

The parents of mass killers suffer with more than grief over the loss of their child–who often commits suicide or gets stopped dead by law enforcement responders.  They also suffer isolation in their own community–often judged by neigbors who don’t understand how they could have raised a person responsible for such a monstrous act. 

David Kaczynski, brother of the “Unabomber”–Ted–a disturbed, serial killer who was turned in by David in 1996–often reaches out to the parents of those who commit multiple murders in a single event. 

When mentally ill Jared Lee Loughner shot up a parking lot in Tucson, Arizona in 2011–where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was doing a ‘meet and greet’–Kaczynski reached out to Loughner’s parents, Amy and Randy.  Their son was being charged with killing six people, including a young girl who was born on 9/11/01.  Giffords had survived with a serious brain injury that ended her congressional career.  “I know what it was like to be in their situation,” Kaczynski said at the time.  “Being in utter shock, disbelief, the trauma.”

Timothy McVeigh was executed by lethal injection in June 2001 for the 1996 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people inside the federal Murrah Building.  Bill McVeigh, his father, retreated into his private pain at his home in upstate New York.  But Bud Welch, the father of a 23-year old woman who died, decided he wanted to reach out to McVeigh.  Welch said he recognized the pain in Bill McVeigh’s eyes in his own.  Welch went to McVeigh’s home and

admired his garden.  Welch recalled a single tear fell down McVeigh’s face, when he showed Welch his son’s high school graduation photo.  Timothy McVeigh was a decorated, Gulf War veteran who turned on his government. 

Bud Welch said meeting McVeigh’s father allowed him to forgive the son for his horrific crime.

Now, Cathleen Alexis is feeling the pain of losing her son and the horror of what he did.  It is not a parents’ club she would have ever asked to join.

shootermomstatement

(PIX11) – The mother of the man who killed 12 people during a shooting rampage at the Washington D.C Navy Yard Monday released a statement Wednesday morning.

Aaron Alexis’ mother, Cathleen Alexis, told reporters, “I don’t know why he did what he did and I’ll never be able to ask him why.”

Speaking through emotion, Alexis’ mother sympathized with families of the victims saying, “Our son Aaron Alexis murdered 12 people and wounded several others. His actions have a profound and everlasting effect on the families of the victims.”

The Bed-Stuy resident, dressed in all black and with two bishops by her side, expressed concerns with going back to work and said she has not left her home since Monday.

“Aaron is now in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone, and for that I am glad,” she read from the statement printed on a single sheet of paper. “To the family of the victims, I am so, so very sorry that this has happened. My heart is broken.”

Cathleen did not take any questions from reporters.

Washington (CNN) — In the early morning hours of August 10, 2008, Aaron Alexis — now known as the Washington Navy Yard shooter — was arrested for disorderly conduct in metro Atlanta. The then-Navy reservist was kicked out of a club for damaging the furnishings and left the place releasing an unrelenting string of profanities even as police officers told him to stop.

He kept cussing and he was taken in, according to a police report.

An angry overreaction, maybe, but one that his military superiors noticed.

Was this just one side of an isolated incident? Or was it a warning sign of someone suffering from trauma dating back to the 9/11 attacks? It was this confrontation along with another arrest in Texas that prompted the Navy to begin proceedings to separate him from the military.

By the time the Navy began to seek a “general discharge” for Alexis, he had eight instances of misconduct on his record, including insubordination, disorderly conduct, unauthorized absences from work, and at least one instance of drunkenness. But in the end, he left the service with an honorable discharge because he had never been convicted and there was a lack of evidence to merit a general discharge, a U.S. defense official said.

A general discharge might have hindered his ability to get work in the civilian sector.

As it tragically played out, Alexis was working as a military contractor when he opened fire Monday at the Washington Navy Yard in the District of Columbia.

Authorities have not released their thoughts on Alexis’ motive in the morning shooting at the headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command that left 12 people — and the gunman — dead. But a friend said Alexis was locked in a dispute over money with the company that contracted him to work for the Navy.

Investigators also learned that Alexis had recently made contact with two Veterans Affairs hospitals for apparent psychological issues, law enforcement sources told CNN on Tuesday. However, other sources said Alexis sought help from the VA for sleep-related issues.

He told Newport, Rhode Island, police last month that an individual “had sent three people to follow him and to talk, keep him awake and send vibrations into his body,” according to a police report.

Authorities said earlier that they are confident that Alexis was the lone gunman, after a daylong police search for a possible second suspect.

To read the full story, click here.

The Washington navy yard gunman Aaron Alexis allegedly suffered from various psychiatric issues.

With a documented history of mental illness and violence, why were red flags ignored?

Carolyn Wolf, a mental health and workplace violence expert, weighed in on the discussion on the Morning News.

(CNN) — Navy officers knew that Aaron Alexis had been arrested in 2004 for shooting out the tires of a car — in a blackout fueled by anger — and yet they admitted him into the Navy and granted him security clearance anyway, a senior Naval officer told CNN.

“It appears as if investigators were aware of the incident, interviewed him and were satisfied that it did not preclude granting the clearance,” the officer said.

Alexis, who killed 12 people Monday at the Washington Navy Yard, was a military contractor who used a valid identification to gain access to the secured facility, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.

But experts, lawmakers and many in the media are now asking how Alexis was able to obtain that clearance, given his previous run-ins with the law — some involving guns — as well his checkered past in the Navy and a history of mental illness.

Did government background investigations dig up the things about Alexis that news agencies managed to find out within hours?

Experts weigh in

Alexis “should have been screened out early on in his enlistment,” said one expert on Navy processes, who asked not to be identified. “The Navy and the various entities responsible for his adjudication were either unwilling or worse unable to determine he was unfit for service in the United States Navy.”

The incidents in Alexis’ past “should have been a red flag that maybe we need to delve a little deeper into this individual,” said retired Navy Cmdr. Kirk Lippold.

And private experts told CNN Alexis shouldn’t have kept his clearance.

“In all of my experience with this, he absolutely should not have gotten a clearance. Anybody that I’ve encountered with any kind — even half of this record — does not get a clearance,” said private attorney Sheldon Cohen, who specializes in clearance cases.

The gun arrests alone should have disqualified him, Cohen said.

A checkered past

The shooter at the Washington Navy Yard had a “pattern of misconduct” as a Navy reservist and sporadic run-ins with the law, and had contacted two Veterans Affairs hospitals for apparent psychological issues, sources have told CNN.

At around 8 in the morning on May 6, 2004, Alexis used his Glock to shoot out two of the tires of a 1986 Honda Accord near a Seattle, Washington, home where Alexis was residing. He was ultimately arrested and charged with “malicious mischief.” Alexis said that the owners of the car “had disrespected him” and that, he claimed, led “to what Alexis described as a ‘black-out’ fueled by anger,” according to the police report.

Alexis also was arrested on a gun-related offense in 2010 as well as on a disorderly charge in 2008, but he was never prosecuted. Also, although he was honorably discharged as a Navy reservist, he had at least eight instances of misconduct while on duty, according to a US defense official.

So why was he given clearance?

“The way it happens is a poor background check,” says Tim Clemente, a former FBI counterterrorism agent.

Navy officials are going back to see if his clearance should have been pulled.

“We’re looking at his entire service record,” Navy spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby told CNN’s The Situation Room. “See what red flags, if any, were missed, and if there’s an accounting to be done.”

How clearance works

Contractors can receive three levels of clearance: confidential, secret and top secret. Alexis had secret clearance, the middle category.

A Defense Department office oversees clearance. Applicants fill out a very long form, which asks about any contact with police, charges and convictions. The form also asks about mental instability. Interviews with applicants follow.

Before obtaining clearance as a contractor, Alexis would have theoretically been investigated by the Office of Personnel Management and ultimately granted clearance by “DONCAF” — the Department of the Navy’s Central Adjudication Facility, in Fort Meade, Maryland.

An official at DONCAF refused to comment, referring CNN to the Pentagon.

Kirby told CNN he couldn’t speak for DONCAF or its process, but Alexis “passed a routine security clearance back in 2007 when he enlisted. It was good for 10 years.”

As a reservist Alexis was exempted from the periodic reinvestigation of clearance that active duty officers go through every 4½ years, or the polygraphs they go through every 2½ years.

“We’re doing the forensics now to better understand if and how that clearance was reviewed,” Kirby said. “If we need to account for missed flags, we will. While not a stellar sailor, nothing Alexis did gave us an indication that he was capable of this brutal level of violence against people.”

‘Secret’ clearance granted in March 2008

Alexis was given a “secret” security clearance in March 2008, shortly after he joined the Navy in 2007.

He carried that clearance with him when he was honorably discharged in 2011, Kirby said, and could use it in another position so long as he is hired within two years.

Alexis was hired by a company called The Experts in September 2012 to work on a HP contract in Japan refreshing computer systems.

“Because he wasn’t out of work very long before this next job the security clearance went with him,” Kirby said. “We’re taking a look at all the run-ins with the law if anything should have been done differently.”

The initial background investigation on Alexis was done by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Kirby said.

A Defense Department statement issued Tuesday night said “according to applicable federal investigative standards, an individual with Mr. Alexis’ non-critical level of eligibility would only need to be reinvestigated once every 10 years.”

The Experts issued a statement saying Alexis was properly screened.

“We enlisted a service to perform two background checks, and we confirmed twice through the Department of Defense his Secret government clearance,” the statement said. “The latest background check and security clearance confirmation were in late June of 2013 and revealed no issues other than one minor traffic violation.”

With security clearance, Alexis worked from September 2012 through January in Japan. His clearance was renewed in July, and he worked at facilities in Rhode Island, North Carolina and Virginia for weeks at a time upgrading computer systems, according to Thomas E. Hoshko, CEO of The Experts. No one reported having any problems with him, Hoshko said.

Alexis began working at the Navy Yard last week, though it was unclear whether he had actually begun doing work or was still securing his base clearance, Hoshko said.

Lawmakers react

The possible red flags that went unnoticed have members of Congress outraged — with promises to fix what they say could be gaping holes in the system.

“We are so reliant on military contractors” that the vetting is key to our national security, Sen. Susan Collins told CNN.

Collins, a Republican who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said she now questions “the kind of vetting contractors do.”

Washington needs a lot more answers,” Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-District of Columbia, told CNN Tuesday.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, is asking for a hearing to examine problems the shooting at the Navy Yard highlighted.

“In the wake of this tragedy, we must thoroughly review and fix deficiencies within existing federal contracting hiring practices that the alleged Washington Navy Yard gunman exposed and exploited to ensure the safety of the rest of our service family—service members, civilian workers, and contractors, alike,” Ayotte said.

Government relies on contractors

In the 12 years since the September 11 attacks, the United States has ramped up contracting to support new defense and intelligence efforts.

And contractors are a major reason the federal government can operate today as its workforce shrinks.

According to statistics, last year it spent more than $500 billion — or roughly 14% of the federal budget — on private-sector contracts.

That doesn’t include many contracts awarded by the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies, which keep their spending classified.

There are already moves in Congress to tighten the security clearance system.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida is a co-sponsor of a bill to force government agencies asking for the background checks of potential clearance holders to increase oversight and to fire investigators who falsify those investigations.

Because of the rise in number of contractors, federal agencies often farm out background check investigations before deciding whether to grant security clearance. While the process is supposed to be the same whether it is done by a government or private sector employee, some experts question whether that is the case.

One of the largest private firms that specializes in these investigations, USIS, which did former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s background check, is under investigation, according to an official from the Office of Personnel Management who testified before Congress in June.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, said at the hearing her staff had been informed of the company’s “systemic failure to adequately conduct investments under its contract” with OPM. USIS has not commented on the investigation.

Broader review planned

The issue of contractors also has the attention of the Obama administration.

Because of the leaks from Snowden, the Director of National Intelligence was already examining who should have access to classified materials. Now officials say there will be a broader review of contractors and employees across all federal agencies. This review will look at the oversight, nature and implementation of security protections as well as looking at whether these employees and contractors are suited to work for the federal government, an administration official told CNN.

“I can tell you at the President’s direction (the Office of Management and Budget) is examining standards for contractors and employees across federal agencies. So this is obviously a matter the President believes and has believed merits review,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday.

Stan Soloway, president and CEO of the Professional Services Council — the trade association for contractors — told CNN that “contract employees and government employees go through the same process.”

He argues that the focus now should not be on how Alexis got his security clearance, but “what are the procedures for access to facilities. … How do you get into the building with a gun?”

FLUSHING, Queens (PIX11) –  Aaron Alexis–who was fatally shot by Washington, D.C. police officers, after gunning down 12 people Monday in the Navy Yard, once had an NYPD permit to buy and sell shotguns and rifles.

Alexis, 34, was born in Queens and attended Hillcrest High School in Jamaica. During that time, he lived on 77th Road in Flushing, near the corner of 147th Street.

The NYPD told PIX11 News that Alexis applied for a gun permit in October 2000. The permit, allowing him to buy and sell shotguns and rifles, was granted.

The permit was canceled in 2003, when Alexis failed to renew it.

By 2004, Alexis got into trouble in Seattle, for shooting up tires on a car.

He told police there that he had blacked-out and was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, claiming that he had worked as a 9/11 responder in New York.

Alexis became a Naval Reservist in 2007 and left the service in 2011. By that time, he had already gotten into trouble again. A Texas neighbor told police there he had fired a gunshot through her ceiling in 2010. But no charges were ever filed.

Alexis’ mother was living in Brooklyn and was also questioned by the FBI.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The normal buzz of the Washington Navy Yard’s 3,000 workers will be replaced by the meticulous work of forensics teams, looking for answers after military contractor Aaron Alexis gunned down 12 people and wounded eight others.

Aside from investigators, only a few essential employees will be on the base Tuesday. Authorities have questions to ask, measurements to take and information to sift through.

Mid-morning, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and other Department of Defense leaders will lay a wreath at the Navy Memorial plaza to honor the victims of Monday’s shooting.

Dead is Alexis, a former sailor with a “pattern of misconduct,” and 12 others, a mix of civilian workers and military contractors.

Authorities said Alexis was killed after an encounter with security. They gave no other details.

He began at the Navy Yard last week, but worked at multiple Navy offices over the summer, said employer Thomas Hoshko, CEO of The Experts, an HP subcontractor. Hoshko said there were no reports of problems with Alexis at the other Navy offices.

Two law enforcement sources say Alexis recently made contact with two Veterans Affairs hospitals. His contact is initially believed to be for psychological issues, the sources said.

In addition to the 12 deaths, eight people were injured, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray told reporters Monday night. Gunfire injured three, and the other victims suffered bruises, chest pain and other injuries, he said.

Earlier Monday evening, Navy Vice Adm. William D. French said 14 people were injured.

Despite earlier reports suggesting as many as two other people may have been involved, Washington police are confident that only one person was involved in Monday morning’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, police Chief Cathy Lanier said Monday night.

Metropolitan Police were trying to track down at least one person — described by police as a man, between 40 and 50, wearing an “olive drab-colored” military-style uniform — to determine whether that individual had any involvement.

Seeking information about the shooter

What motivated Alexis to kill was a mystery Tuesday Terrorism hasn’t been ruled out but seems unlikely, Gray told reporters.

Authorities were searching for more information about him, and they’re asking the public for help.

“No piece of information is too small,” said Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the Washington FBI Field Office. “We are looking to learn everything we can about his recent movements, his contacts and associates.”

A friend and former housemate, Kristi Suthamtewakul, told CNN’s “New Day” that she had noticed personality changes in Alexis over the last few months, but nothing indicating the potential for such violence.

“Aaron was a very polite, very friendly man,” she said.

Among other problems, he had been frustrated about pay and benefits issues after a one-month contracting stint in Japan last year, Suthamtewakul said.

“He got back and he felt very slighted about his benefits at the time,” she said. “Financial issues. He wasn’t getting paid on time, he wasn’t getting paid what he was supposed to be getting paid.”

“That’s when I first started hearing statements about how he wanted to move out of America,” Suthamtewakul said. “He was very frustrated with the government and how as a veteran he didn’t feel like he was getting treated right or fairly.”

Another friend, Texas resident Michael Ritrovato, said Alexis had recently been frustrated with his employer over pay.

But Ritrovato said his friend never showed signs of aggressiveness or violence, though he played a lot of shooting video games online.

“It’s incredible that this is all happening, because he was a very good-natured guy,” Ritrovato said. “It seemed like he wanted to get more out of life.”

In Seattle, police said they arrested Alexis in 2004 for shooting out the tires of another man’s vehicle in what Alexis later told detectives was an anger-fueled “blackout.”

He was also arrested in DeKalb County, Georgia, in 2008 on a disorderly conduct charge, police there said Tuesday.

Before working as a military contractor, Alexis had served in the Navy as a petty officer working on electrical systems.

He had a “pattern of misconduct” while in the Navy, but was honorably discharged, two Navy officials told CNN.

Alexis was in the Navy’s Ready Reserve, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told CNN

Ready Reserve status is a designation for former military members who don’t actively serve in a Reserve unit but who can be called up if the military needs them.

Witness: People pushed their way out of building

Monday’s violence began at 8:20 a.m., when several shots broke the workday calm of the southeast Washington facility.

D.C. Metropolitan Police officials told CNN that Alexis drove onto the installation and parked before walking a short distance to Building 197, where the killings occurred.

Alexis had an active ID and entered the base legally, a federal law enforcement official said.

Once inside, according to an official, Alexis made his way to an overlook above the atrium and opened fire.

Two witnesses told CNN affiliate WJLA-TV that they heard a fire alarm go off in the building where they worked, then saw a man with a rifle down the hallway as they left the building.

“He aimed the gun and fired our way,” Todd Brundidge told WJLA.

People frantically ran down stairs to get out of the building, Brundidge said.

“They were pushing. They were shoving. People were falling down,” he told WJLA. “As we came outside, people were climbing the wall trying to get over the wall to get out. …. It was just crazy.”

One victim said she was underneath her desk when the gunman came by, said Dr. Jane Orlowski, chief medical officer at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where three of the victims were being treated.

The bullet grazed the finger of her upheld hand and her scalp behind her right ear, Orlowski told CNN’s “New Day.”

“Thankfully, it sort of hit the bone and bounced off,” she said. “She is an extremely lucky young lady.

That patient, whose identity has not been released, was in good condition Tuesday, she said. Two other patients — a civilian female and a Washington police officer — were in fair condition, she said.

The victims

Police late Monday released the names and ages of seven of the 12 people killed in the shooting.

None of the seven was in the military.

They are Michael Arnold, 59; Sylvia Frasier, 53; Kathy Gaarde, 62; John Roger Johnson, 73; Frank Kohler, 50; Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46; and Vishnu Pandit, 61.

The names of the other five will be released once their families have been notified.

Alexis died after the killings in an encounter with security. The FBI said it identified him using fingerprints and his identification card.

Authorities have recovered three weapons from the scene of the mass shooting, including a shotgun that investigators believe Alexis brought into the compound, federal law enforcement sources with detailed knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Tuesday. The other two weapons — handguns — may have been taken from guards, the sources say.

Earlier information that Alexis may have used a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle may have been incorrect, the sources said.

Investigators believe Alexis rented an AR-15 but had returned it before Monday’s shootings, the sources said. Authorities are still investigating how many weapons Aaron had access to, the sources said.

Rampage rehearsed?

Alexis probably carefully planned the killings, said Chris Voss, a former FBI agent.

“The shooter rehearsed this in his mind, and he probably walked through it a few times physically ahead of time,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

“He wanted to make sure he did this,” Voss said. “So he came in very focused, made sure he wasn’t distracted, he probably did exactly as he had rehearsed previously.”

Kirk Lippold, a retired U.S. Navy commander and military policy expert at Phillp Stutts, has been inside Building 197 and thinks Alexis must have known he would have to fight his way inside.

“I think he actually fought his way in and was killing people on his way to the third floor where he started that rampage,” said Lippold, who was commander of the USS Cole when that ship was attacked by terrorists in Yemen in 2000.

Navy Yard history

The military installation will be closed to all but emergency personnel and traffic Tuesday, the Naval District of Washington’s Facebook page said. Washington police said Tuesday that all streets and bridges around the Navy Yard are open, except for one block.

The base is headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command, which “builds, buys and maintains the Navy’s ships and submarines and their combat systems,” according to the Navy.

Originally envisioned as facility to build and outfit ships on the Anacostia River, it serviced some of the Navy’s most famous early vessels, including the USS Constitution.

Burned during the War of 1812, the Navy Yard was transformed into a center for weapons and technological development.

The facility was the world’s largest ordnance plant during World War II, but its military role steadily diminished during the Cold War era.

Today, the Navy Yard includes the headquarters of Naval District Washington and a naval museum.

(CNN) – All 12 of the victims killed in Monday’s shooting rampage at Washington’s Navy Yard were contractors or civilians, authorities said Monday night.

Officials identified seven of those killed. They are:

Michael Arnold, 59;

Sylvia Frasier, 53;

Kathy Gaarde, 62;

John Roger Johnson, 73;

Frank Kohler, 50;

Vishnu Pandit, 61; and

Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46;

None of those killed were military personnel, authorities said.

Wounded survivors of Monday’s shooting are eligible for treatment at a U.S. military’ hospital, just as if they were soldiers wounded in war.

U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced that Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, is open to them as he visited two civilian Navy workers being treated at MedStar Washington Hospital Center Monday afternoon.

Twelve victims — and the suspected shooter — died as a result of Monday morning’s rampage at the headquarters for the Naval Sea Systems Command, officials said. It could take another day until everyone is accounted for, the Navy secretary said Monday.

A maintenance worker who tried to warn others was among those shot, according to U.S. Navy Cmdr. Tim Jirus.

Jirus told CNN he was standing in an alley at the bottom of a fire escape supervising the evacuation of Building 197 when a worker from a nearby maintenance building approached him.

“He walked up and told me that he heard that there was a shooter in our building,” Jirus said. “And we were just standing there maybe three feet away having a conversation, and then we heard two more gunshots, and he went down and that’s when I ran.”

Police Cars thumb

The suspected shooter, killed by law enforcement, was identified as a contractor working with the Navy named Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old born in Queens and living in Texas.

Jirus said he did not know the man. He was “fairly certain he is dead, because he was shot in the head.”

“I don’t feel lucky that he got hit instead of me, but I feel lucky to be here,” Jirus said.

At least one person, and possibly a second, opened fire, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray said. Police said one suspected shooter was killed.

Three other shooting victims who were flown to MedStar Washington Hospital Center are expected to survive, hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Janis Orlowski told reporters about three hours after the attack began around 8:20 a.m. Monday.

Dr. Orlowski gave more details later in the day about her patients, including a Washington Metropolitan police officer who was in surgery Monday afternoon “for gunshot wounds that “involve bones and blood vessels of lower legs.”

“He was most concerned about being able to talk to his mother and wanted to make sure he was able to speak to her before he went into surgery,” Orlowski said. Doctors could know after another day about the police officer’s chances of walking again, she said.

The two other victims at MedStar Washington Hospital Center were women, including one shot in the shoulder and the other with a head wound, Orlowski said. A helicopter plucked one of the wounded women from a roof and carried her to the hospital, she said.

“Their chances of survival are very good,” she said. The patients were all in stable condition, she said.

The woman with the shoulder wound was “in very, very good spirits,” Orlowski said. “She’s actually ordering the doctors and nurses around, and we told her we are in charge here.”

The other woman suffered a “significant wound” to her hand and head, but the bullet didn’t actually penetrate her skull, she said.

Her father rushed to the Navy Yard when he heard about the shooting, Orlowski said. He found her as paramedics were treating her on the scene, she said.

The three patients were each alert when they arrived at the hospital and they sometimes talked about the shooting, Orlowski said. The most common question was about the fate of their co-workers.

“They’re very worried about their colleagues,” she said. “It’s the only question that I’ve heard about the incident. We’ve not shared that with them.”

Mabus went to the hospital to check on the two women, who are Navy employees. “We got to meet one of the victims, a young woman and her family,” Maybus said. “She is, under the circumstances, doing very well. I also got to talk to the husband of the second victim, who is in surgery right now. But none of the injuries are expected to be life-threatening.”

Relatives of people who worked in Building 197 gathered near the Navy yard, hoping for information about their loved ones.

Jacqueline Alston said she has not heard from her husband, Ernest, who is a custodial worker there.

“Right now, I’m asking God to let me hear that voice, to let me see that man again,” Alston said. “All I know is, I’m supposed to be patient, which I am trying to hold on, being patient and understanding, and ask God what created this problem? What started this?”

Mabus said Monday that it could take 24 to 35 hours for Navy officials to account for everyone. He gave two telephone numbers people can call to check on family members who may have been at the Navy Yard. The numbers are: 202-433-6151 and 202-433-9713

“When you call we will not be able to give you a status report,” Mabus said. “We’ll have to check and call back.”

 

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