At 8:37 a.m., Sept. 16, 2013, the U.S. Navy sent a tweet stating an active gunman had opened fire at the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters building 197, located approximately 4 miles from the White House. Witnesses who escaped the harrowing scene would later say they heard gunshots for approximately one hour. One witness told news media he saw someone shot in the head. The death toll currently stands at 13 (including the alleged gunman Aaron Alexis) and fourteen wounded. Those who watched the terror unfold, would see helicopters with snipers descend upon the rooftops of the Washington complex, waiting for their shot at however many gunmen were on the scene.
Aaron Alexis was killed during police fire and authorities spent the day determining if two additional suspects were involved in the mass murder. By 11 p.m., Sept. 16, 2013,Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier would announce that the act of violence was perpetrated by a solo assailant: Aaron Alexis.
Washington D.C. schools were placed on lockdown, the Senate shut down, people were urged to remain in their homes and not venture outside, those inside the Washington Navy Yard were locked in rooms or gathered together to watch news broadcasts while remaining secure.
While it appears the hunt for additional perpetrators is over, there are many questions that must be answered. First, how could such an attack occur in Washington D.C., so close to the White House and on a Navy command center? Why weren’t protocols followed? New reports suggest that one of the weapons Alexis used to execute the violence came from a safe within the Navy Yard.
You may see a photo slideshow from the chaotic scene where helicopters unloaded snipers to the tops of buildings at the Washington Navy Yard in the slideshow to the left.
Click here to watch live streaming updates on the Washington Navy Yard shooting.
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