Navy base gunman 'was reservist'
on 16/09/2013 22:41:38
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.
Alexis had been working for the fleet logistics support squadron No. 46, in Fort Worth, Texas. The Navy says his home of record was New York City.
Alexis was shot dead during the rampage, which left 12 others dead. Four others were injured.
Washington Mayor Vincent Gray said authorities had been looking for two other people who may have been involved in the shooting. However one of those people had been identified and ruled out as a suspect.
But Mr Gray said investigators were still searching for a third individual wearing an olive-green, military-style uniform to determine if he was involved.
The shootings happened inside one of the Navy's oldest buildings, targeting office workers at a heavily guarded military facility in the heart of the nation's capital.
The attack unfolded just a short distance from the White House and the US Capitol at a former shipyard that is one of the Navy's oldest shore facilities.
President Barack Obama mourned yet another mass shooting in the US that he said took the lives of American patriots. He promised to make sure "whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible."
The building was the military's headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command, which buys, builds and maintains ships, submarines and combat systems. About 3,000 people work at the headquarters, many of them civilians.
Witnesses described a gunman opening fire from a fourth-floor overlook, aiming down on people in the first-floor cafeteria. Others said a gunman fired at them in a third-floor hallway.
Todd Brundidge, an executive assistant with Navy Sea Systems Command, said he and other co-workers encountered a gunman in a long hallway on the third floor. The gunman was wearing all blue, he said.
"He just turned and started firing," Mr Brundidge said.
Patricia Ward, a logistics-management specialist, said she was in the cafeteria getting breakfast.
"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," Ward said.
One person died at George Washington University Hospital of a single gunshot wound to the left temple, said Dr Babak Sarani, director of trauma and acute care surgery. A police officer and two civilian women were wounded in the shooting and taken to Washington Hospital Centre, said Janis Orlowski, the hospital's chief operating officer. All three were expected to survive.