December 21, 2013
Thirteen dead in Washington DC Navy Yard shooting
A 34-year-old gunman opened fire at the US Navy Yard in Washington on Monday in a shooting that left 13 people dead at the busy military installation not far from the US Capitol and the White House, officials said.
The suspect, identified by the FBI as Aaron Alexis of Fort Worth, Texas, was among the dead and 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, which began at about 8.30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT).
The Washington DC mayor and the police chief reported 12 fatalities and an unknown number of wounded at the Naval Sea Systems Command, one of five such commands where civilians, military personnel and contractors build, buys and maintain Navy ships and submarines. About 3,000 people work there.
"We have no indication of motive at this time," said Washington D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier.
President Barack Obama was briefed on the shooting and then talked about it at the start of a speech on the US economy.
"We are confronting yet another mass shooting, and today it happened at another military installation, in our nation's capital," said Obama, who vowed to enact "sensible" gun control measures after a gunman shot dead 20 school children and six adults at an elementary school in Connecticut last December.
"They know the dangers of serving abroad, but today they face the unimaginable violence that they wouldn't have expected here at home," Obama said.
The Washington shooting happened less than three weeks after US Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan was sentenced to death for murdering 13 people in 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas, where he gunned down unarmed soldiers in what he later called retaliation for US wars in Muslim countries.
Among the injured in Monday's shooting was a District of Columbia police officer, who was in stable condition in surgery, and one other law enforcement officer, officials said.
Washington Hospital Center said it was treating three gunshot victims, who were in critical condition, and was expecting more to arrive.
"We had a few additional folks who were injured, they were not fatally injured," Lanier said.
At George Washington University, a man in his 60s died of a single gunshot wound to his head, said Babak Sarani, head of trauma surgery.
The man was shot in his left temple and the injury "was not survivable by any stretch," Sarani told reporters, adding he was unsure what type of weapon was used or whether the bullet had exited the victim's body.