Tuesday, Sep. 17, ABC News reports most of the 1500 workers at the “massive Navy Yard in Washington" are working from home Tuesday morning. Twelve victims are dead, shot by an assailant who is unable to explain to surviving loved ones why he shot them. The shooter died, shot during his deadly rampage at the Navy Yard. Most of the nation is puzzled and distressed over Monday’s sudden massacre, while authorities pour over the crime scene, looking for clues to inform them why this tragic shooting happened. Police are focusing their attention on Aaron Alexis, 34-year-old IT contractor, starting a job at the naval yard, who turned shooter and mass murderer for no apparent reason.
Following the chaos of Monday’s shooting, Navy Yard in Washington — along with a significant area of the city — was in lock-down. The Washington Redskins’ game was canceled Monday evening. Tuesday morning, authorities search for a motive, while the White House flag is flying at half-staff for the victims, again.
For a time on Monday following the tragic shooting, authorities suspected the shooter had not acted alone, seeking as many as two unidentified accompanists until late into the night. Alexis’ family’s Brooklyn, New York home was searched overnight by police and the FBI, desperate to find a motive for the former Navy sailor and information technology specialist, cleared for entry to Navy Yard as a recent hire on an IT contract, to suddenly open fire on the yard. The authorities questioned the Alexis family for close to four hours before giving more than a thousand workers detained at Navy Yard the all-clear to go home Monday night, more than 11 hours after the fatal shooting spree began. It was determined by authorities by that time that Alexis had acted alone and that suspicions of second or third accomplices “appear unfounded,” according to ABC News, Tuesday. Chief Cathy Lanier with the DC Metropolitan Police Department told the press, “We do now feel comfortable that we have the single and sole person responsible.”
His 12 victims have been revealed as civilians who had all been on their way to work at 8:15 a.m. EDT when Alexis began his shooting spree. Police received a call and arrived at the scene, reporting, “We have an active shooter,” at 8:18 a.m. By 8:21 a.m. DC Police and Naval internal security began a series of multiple gun battles. The shooter was dressed in black, carrying a long-barrel rifle. He used catwalks on the upper floor of the building to shoot down into the food court on the ground floor where his 12 victims ate breakfast. They ranged in age from 46 to 73, all civilian or navy contractors, none of them in the military, according to ABC News.
The Guardian reports that Alexis has had two prior arrests related to guns on his record. A motive for Alexis’ rampage is still being sought as authorities continue their investigations.