Thirteen people, including a gunman, are dead after Monday’s shooting at the US Navy Yard in Washington, DC.
None of the 13 victims have been identified yet, but at least a dozen more are injured including a police officer. The attack was particularly shocking because the Navy Yard is locked down and under surveillance. Only those with military ID are permitted within the Yard.
Ray Mabus, US Secretary of the Navy, sent this tweet this morning, “I’m deeply shocked & saddened by the shooting this morning at the Navy Yard. Our thoughts & prayers are with the victims and their families.”
Authorities still have no motive for the attack. The dead gunman has been identified as Aaron Alexis. Alexis, 34, served in the US Navy from May 2007 to January 2011. He received a general discharge for “misconduct issues,” said a Navy official to NPR.
The New York Times reports that Alexis was found carrying three weapons–an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun and a semi-automatic pistol. His permit to carry comes from Texas, where in was currently living and working in Fort Worth.
Customers at the Thai restaurant where Alexis worked remember him as a sweet and easy going man. However, he has been arrested twice for gun violations in recent years. Once it was in Seattle for shooting the tires of a man’s vehicle, and another time in Texas for shooting through the ceiling of his apartment.
Authorities continue to search for a potential second gunman. The man is described as a African American and wearing an olive military-style uniform. He has grey sideburns and is approximately 5’10.” Police estimate that he is between 40 and 50-years-old.
President Obama released a Presidential Proclamation and asked flags to be flown at half-mast to honor those killed at the Navy Yard. This is the full text of his statement:
“As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on September 16, 2013, at the Washington Navy Yard, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, September 20, 2013.
I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.”