Gunman fires shots in US Navy yard in Washington
on 16/09/2013 14:48:18
Initial reports suggested that a lone gunman fired at least three shots inside the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters, which is the headquarters for a number of US naval commands.
"I can confirm that there have been multiple reports of wounded individuals and multiple fatalities," said Ed Zeigler, Director of Public Affairs at the Naval yard.
"The situation is developing and it's hard to really nail down what the numbers at this point.
"I have no reports that the shooter has been apprehended, so this is an ongoing situation."
3.15pm UPDATE: Latest reports suggest that the gunman may have barricaded himself inside a room at the facility.
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 White House said president Barack Obama was aware of the shootings. A spokesman said:
"The president has been briefed several times about the unfolding situation at the Washington Navy Yard by assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counter-Terrorism Lisa Monaco and deputy chief of staff Alyssa Mastromanaco.
"The president directed his team to stay in touch with our federal partners, including the Navy and FBI, as well as the local officials. We urge citizens to listen to the authorities and follow directions from the first responders on site."