Posted Sep 16, 2013 09:30 pm CDT
The U.S. Senate canceled its Monday session and closed its adjacent offices following reports of a shooting at the Navy Yard two miles away that has left at least 13 people dead and perhaps a dozen more wounded. Schools, offices and homes were also locked down.
One of those killed, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis of Fort Worth, Texas, was a military contractor or civilian employee believed to be responsible for the shootings. A second individual was initially suspected in the slayings, according to Reuters, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) and the Washington Post (sub. req.). However, by late Monday night, Alexis was considered a lone gunman by authorities, according to CBS.
The motive for the rampage, which began after 8 a.m. Monday, is unknown. It isn’t clear if Alexis was assigned to work at the Navy Yard.
A former member of the Navy, he was discharged in 2011 after a 2010 gun incident in Fort Worth in which he was arrested but not charged, the Wall Street Journal says. A police report says he fired a gun in his apartment, sending a bullet upstairs. A resident there said he had complained of noise previously, but Alexis said the discharge occurred accidentally, while he was cleaning the weapon. There were no injuries.
Like other Navy Yard workers who didn’t immediately exit after the shooting began, general counsel’s office employees Kate O’Neill and Stephanie Cates-Harman said they were ordered to shelter in place until 2 p.m.
“Texts were going fast and furious,” O’Neill told the Post.
Updated on Sept. 17 with newer info.