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Suspected Navy Yard Shooter was Defense Contractor

UPDATE 5:20PM: Defense officials say the suspected Washington Navy Yard gunman was currently working as a defense department contractor, but it's not clear if he was assigned at the military base in southeast D.C.

Defense officials say Aaron Alexis, 34, of Texas, was working as an information technology contractor, but it was not known which company employed him. As a contractor, he could have had a badge that might have gained him access to the base. Alexis was a former Navy reservist, serving from 2007 to early 2011.

The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University also says he was an online student pursuing a bachelor's degree in aeronautics. He started classes in July 2012.

Thirteen people were killed during the shooting rampage at Building 197. More than a dozen others were wounded.


CLICK HERE to read more about Alexis.

UPDATE 5PM:
The White House says President Barack Obama is ordering flags to be lowered to half-staff to honor victims of a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.

A proclamation Obama signed Monday says flags should be lowered immediately and will remain there until sunset on Friday. The proclamation applies to all public grounds, military posts and naval vessels, plus U.S. embassies and outposts overseas.

Authorities say a former Navy man launched an attack inside a building at the Navy Yard, spraying gunfire on office workers in the cafeteria and in the hallway at the heavily secured installation. Thirteen people were killed, including the gunman.

UPDATE 3:35PM:
The FBI has released a photo of Navy Yard shooter 34-year-old Aaron Alexis. It is attached to this story.

UPDATE 3:25PM:
Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray says another person has died, bringing the death toll to 13, including gunman. Mayor Gray also says Monday night's Washington Nationals baseball game has been canceled.

UPDATE 2PM:
Police officials now say the shooter was 34-year-old Aaron Alexis of Fort Wood, Texas. Officials say 12 people were killed and 16 shot at the Washington Navy Yard Monday morning.

UPDATE 12:45PM:
Navy officials say seven people were killed and as many as 15 injured in the Washington Navy Yard shooting.

UPDATE 11:45AM:
President Barack Obama is mourning what he called "yet another mass shooting" in the United States that he says took the life of American patriots.

Obama promised to make sure, quote, "whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible."

He said several people were shot Monday morning at the Washington Navy Yard about 3 1/2 miles from the White House, and some were killed.

He said the victims were "courageous Americans" who knew about the risks of serving overseas, but wouldn't have expected such "unimaginable violence" at home.

The White House says the president has been receiving frequent briefings about the unfolding situation by senior aides.

UPDATE 11:15AM:
Authorities say they are looking for two additional suspects in the shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard.

District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy Lanier says witnesses reported seeing two additional gunmen, both dressed in military-style clothing.

Lanier says one police officer was wounded in an exchange of gunfire with a shooter. She says one shooter has been killed.

Two Navy officials say at least six people were killed in the rampage.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said at a Monday news conference four people were wounded and taken to hospitals.

UPDATE 11:05AM:
At least one gunman opened fire inside a building at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday morning, and officials said several people were killed and as many as 10 were wounded, including a law enforcement officer.

A shooter had died, though it wasn't immediately clear how, according to a Defense Department official and federal law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Two other officials have said police were looking into the possibility of a second shooter.

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, schools were on lockdown and airplanes at nearby Reagan National Airport were briefly grounded. Less than 2 miles away, security was beefed up at the Capitol, but officials said there was no known threat there. President Barack Obama was getting frequent briefings on the shooting.

The exact number of people killed and the conditions of those wounded was not immediately known. About 3,000 people work at the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters, which builds, buys and maintains the Navy's ships and submarines and combat systems.

Todd Brundidge, an executive assistant with Navy Sea Systems Command, said he and other co-workers encountered a gunman in a long hallway of their building 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 program management analyst who is a civilian with the U.S. Navy, said a gunman was shooting from a fourth floor overlook in the hallway outside his office. He said the gunman was aiming down at people in the building's cafeteria on the first floor. Mason said he could hear the shots but could not see a gunman.

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 and heard shots. They sounded like "pop, pop, pop," she said. After a few seconds, there were more shots.

"Everybody just panicked at first," she said. "It was just people running, running, running."

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

Police and federal agents from multiple law enforcement agencies responded. Ambulances were parked outside, streets in the area were closed and departures from Reagan National Airport were temporarily halted for security reasons.

Among the wounded was a D.C. police officer, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation.

A U.S. Park Police helicopter hovered over the building and appeared to drop a basket with a person onto the roof.

Officials at MedStar Washington Hospital Center said two shooting victims had been brought there.

District of Columbia schools officials said six schools and one administrative building in the vicinity of the Navy Yard were placed on lockdown. The action was taken out an abundance of caution, schools spokeswoman Melissa Salmanowitz said.

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.

The Navy Yard is part of a fast-growing neighborhood on the banks of the Anacostia River in southeast Washington, just blocks from Nationals Park and about 1 1/2 miles southeast of the U.S. Capitol.

UPDATE: 11AM:
Family members looking for information about their loved ones can call 202-433-6151 or 202-433-9713.

UPDATE 10:35AM:
A federal law enforcement official says the shooter at Washington Navy Yard has died. Washington Hospital Officials say three victims, one officer and two civilians, are alert but in critical condition.

WITNESSES DESCRIBE WASHINGTON NAVY SITUATION

UPDATE 10:30AM:
Two officials say police are looking into the possibility of a second shooter at the Washington Navy Yard where several people were killed.

A Defense Department official and a law enforcement official spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation.

At least one gunman opened fire inside the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters, where about 3,000 people work just miles from the Capitol.

Among the wounded was a D.C. police officer, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation.

UPDATE 9:50AM:
President Barack Obama is getting frequent briefings on a deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.

The White House says the president had several briefings about the unfolding situation by senior aides.


WASHINGTON (AP) A Defense Department official says several people have been killed and as many as 10 have been wounded in a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because the official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The official also says the shooter is "contained" but not yet in custody.

Earlier in the day, the U.S. Navy said it was searching for an active shooter at the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters, where about 3,000 people work.

The exact number of people killed and the conditions of those wounded was not immediately known.
 
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