The Washington Navy Yard, which was the site of a multiple shooting early Monday, continues to remain on lockdown as authorities attempt to piece together exactly what happened after a gunman or several gunmen fired on workers at the yard. The latest reports note that at least six people have been killed and that there was at least one shooter, although eyewitness reports have various police agencies scouring the area in search of two more possible shooters.
Yahoo News reported Sept. 16 that at least a ten people were injured in the navy yard shooting and one gunman had died during the incident. Washington Metro Police said operatives were searching for two other possible shooters.
Although casualties could climb higher as updated reports roll in, the death count climbed to six by early afternoon, according to an Associated Press report attributing Navy sources. That same report upped the number of injured to at least a dozen. It was unclear whether or not the gunman was included in the death total. The as yet unidentified shooter was shot and killed while exchanging gunfire with a Metro police officer.
During a joint press conference by Washington D. C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Metro Police Chief Cathy Lanier, according a separate Associated Press report, the latter noted that there were still two "potential other shooters" (but emphasized that the reports of other shooters were also "unconfirmed") at large and being sought by authorities. Lanier described both individuals as wearing military style clothing. One was last seen wearing a beret.
The Navy yard shooting took place at military's headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command, a facility that employs some 3,000 people, a great number of which are civilians. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) buys, builds and maintains ships, submarines and combat systems and accounts for about one-third of the U. S. Navy's budget and employs around 60,000 people all told.
The incident began to unfold about 8:20 a.m. when several shots were reportedly fired within the NAVSEA headquarters building. According to Metro Police Chief Lanier, units were on site within seven minutes.
Responding to the shooting were members of various agencies, including the FBI, the U. S. Marshals Service, U. S. Capitol Police, several local emergency and police services, and the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives team that helped apprehend the Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
One witness, executive assistant with Navy Sea Systems Command Todd Brundidge, said the gunman was dressed in blue and just "turned and fired."
A second witness, executive assistant with NAVSEA Terrie Durham, said she also saw the gunman shooting at her and Brundidge.
"He aimed high and missed," Durham said. "He said nothing. As soon as I realized he was shooting, we just said, `Get out of the building.'"
One government official speaking on condition of anonymity told the Associated Press the dead shooter has been identified as a Navy employee whose work status had been changed earlier this year. The official added that the shooter's motive could have been in some way job related. However, authorities haven't ruled various other motives as well, including an act of terrorism.
The Washington Navy Yard shooting prompted the lockdown of at least eight area schools, according to CNN. Reagan National Airport, the closest airport to the incident, also saw a suspension of air traffic for several hours, but normal activity resumed later.