Twelve people were killed and another eight injured when a gunman opened fire, as he perched on an overlook above an atrium at the Washington Navy Yard yesterday. The shooter, identified as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis of Fort Worth, died in a gun battle with police.
Ages of the victims killed range from 46 to 73 years. Police still have not released all the victims’ names pending notification of their families. Three of the five injured victims were shot, including a 23 year veteran of the Washington D.C. police department, who was shot twice in the leg. The other five victims were hospitalized for contusions and chest pains. Officer Scott Williams and the other injured victims are all expected to survive.
Alexis was a Navy reservist for four years before being honorably discharged in 2011. His records reveal several run-ins with police. These incidents show a possible issue with anger management. A Navy official said they had originally sought to kick out Alexis with a general discharge because of his pattern of misconduct while in uniform, however, because of the slow process, when Alexis requested an honorable discharge, the Navy granted it.
For the past few years, Alexis had been working as a military contractor. There are reports that he was involved in some kind of dispute with the company he was working for and felt he was owed money. He had just arrived in D.C. last week for a project at the Navy Yard and had a security clearance and a valid military identification card, known as a common access card, allowing him unfettered access into most facilities.
According to law enforcement, Alexis drove onto the grounds of the navy yard on Monday morning with three weapons in his vehicle. He took the weapons out, proceeded into Building 197 and opened fire. Questions have been raised as to how he was actually able to gain access to Building 197, brandishing weapons since the building is supposed to have armed security at the door and those entering need to present credentials to enter.
There were several shootouts between Alexis and active shooter teams before he was brought down by a D.C. police officer and a U.S. Park police officer.
The Navy Yard shooting marks the seventh time in the past decade that a gunman has killed 10 or more people in a single incident. In 2007, 32 people were killed in the Virginia Tech; 13 people were killed in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting; last year, 12 people were shot and killed at an Aurora, Colo. movie theater; and the Newtown, Conn. school shooting last year in which 26 people were killed, including 20 children.
Emergency Film Group’s Active Shooter: Rapid Response covers the key topics in preparing for and responding to a mass shooting. The film also offers guidance for school officials and emergency operation centers. Organizations of all kinds, in 39 states and abroad, are using the film to prepare – often showing the film to start an exercise involving schools and the emergency response community. To learn more, read here