Hagel Orders 2 Reviews In Response To Shooting

More Video...

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is ordering the Pentagon to review the physical security of all U.S. defense facilities worldwide and the security clearances that allow access to them.

Hagel is also tasking an independent panel to undertake the same reviews. He said Wednesday that "where there are gaps, we will close them."

Hagel ordered the reviews in response to Monday's shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, where a dozen people were killed. The shooter, Aaron Alexis, also was killed.

Alexis, a former Navy reservist, had been undergoing mental health treatment from the Department of Veterans Affairs since August but was not stripped of his security clearance. The assault is raising more questions about the adequacy of the background checks done on contract employees.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Previous Story

The owner of a company that employed the man who police say killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard says Aaron Alexis had worked at Cherry Point.

Sources confirm Alexis worked for The Experts, a Florida-based information technology contractor for the Navy.

CEO Thomas Hoshko told media that in addition to working at the Navy Yard, since July Alexis also worked at six other installations including Cherry Point, Arlington, Virginia and Stafford, Virginia.

Hoshko said he never would have hired Alexis if he had known about some of his run-ins with the law.

Cherry Point told WITN Tuesday afternoon it cannot confirm that Alexis worked on the base. Spokesman Mike Barton says The Experts is a subcontractor for Hewlett Packard and that Cherry Point does not have a list of their workers.

The company says Alexis worked for them for approximately six months over the past year. They say two background checks were done, the latest in June, which revealed no issues other than one minor traffic violation.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has ordered a review of government contractor and employee security after the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.

Obama spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that Obama has ordered his Office of Management and Budget to examine security standards for contractors and employees across federal agencies.

Law enforcement officials say Alexis had a "secret" level security clearance.

Other security reviews were also being ordered at the Pentagon.


Previous Story

The former Navy reservist who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard had been hearing voices and was being treated for mental illness in the weeks before the shooting rampage, but was not stripped of his security clearance, officials said Tuesday.

Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old information technology employee with a defense contractor, used a valid pass to get into the highly secured installation Monday morning and started firing inside a building, the FBI said. He was killed in a gun battle with police.

The motive for the mass shooting - the deadliest on a military installation in the U.S. since the attack at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009 - was a mystery, investigators said.

U.S. law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that there was no known connection to terrorism and that investigators have found no manifesto or other writings suggesting a political or religious motive.

Alexis had been suffering a host of serious mental problems, including paranoia and a sleep disorder, and had been hearing voices in his head, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the criminal investigation was still going on.

He had been treated since August by Veterans Affairs, the officials said.

The Navy had not declared him mentally unfit, which would have rescinded a security clearance Alexis had from his earlier time in the Navy Reserves.

The assault is likely to raise more questions about the adequacy of the background checks done on contract employees and others who are issued security clearances - an issue that came up most recently with National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, an IT employee with a government contractor.

In the hours after the Navy Yard attack, a profile of Alexis began coming into focus.

A Buddhist convert who had also had flare-ups of rage, Alexis, a black man who grew up in New York City and whose last known address was in Fort Worth, Texas, complained about the Navy and being a victim of discrimination. He also had run-ins with the law over shootings in 2004 and 2010 in Texas and Seattle, and was ticketed for disorderly conduct after being thrown out of a metro Atlanta nightclub in 2008.

Alexis' bouts of insubordination, disorderly conduct and being absent from work without authorization prompted the Navy to grant him an early - but honorable - discharge in 2011 after nearly four years as a full-time reservist, authorities said. During his service, he repaired aircraft electrical systems at Fort Worth.

In addition to those killed at the Navy Yard attack, eight people were hurt, including three who were shot and wounded, authorities. Those three were a police officer and two female civilians, authorities said. They were all expected to survive.

Those killed included: Michael Arnold, 59, a Navy veteran and avid pilot who was building a light airplane at his home; Sylvia Frasier, 53, who worked in computer security; Kathleen Gaarde, 63, a financial analyst; and Frank Kohler, 50, a former president of the Rotary Club in Lexington Park, Md., who proudly reigned as "King Oyster" at the region's annual seafood festival.

Monday's onslaught at a single building at the Navy Yard unfolded about 8:20 a.m. in the heart of the nation's capital, less than four miles from the White House and two miles from the Capitol. It put all of Washington on edge.

"This is a horrific tragedy," Mayor Vincent Gray said.

Alexis carried three weapons: an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun, and a handgun that he took from a police officer at the scene, according to two federal law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation.

The AR-15 is the same type of rifle used in last year's shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school that killed 20 children and six adults. The weapon was also used in the shooting at a Colorado movie theater that killed 12 and wounded 70.

For much of the day Monday, authorities said they were looking for a possible second attacker who may have been disguised in an olive-drab military-style uniform. But by late Monday night, they said they were convinced the shooting was the work of a lone gunman, and the lockdown around the area was eased.

"We do now feel comfortable that we have the single and sole person responsible for the loss of life inside the base today," Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier said.

President Barack Obama lamented yet another mass shooting in the U.S. that he said took the lives of American "patriots." He promised to make sure "whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible."

(Copyright ©2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)



Previous Story

Defense officials say Aaron Alexis, identified as the gunman who opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard, was a full-time Navy reservist from 2007 to 2011 and worked recently as a Defense Department contractor.

He also prayed at a Buddhist temple, was taking online course in aeronautics and was involved in past shooting incidents which attracted police attention in Seattle and Fort Worth, Texas.

It was not immediately clear why Alexis left the reserves, who his latest employer was, or what his motives might have been for going on a rampage. He was one of 13 people killed during Monday's shootings.

Police in Seattle say Alexis was arrested there in 2004 for shooting out the tires of another man's vehicle in what he described to detectives as an anger-fueled "blackout."



Previous Story

The D.C. mayor says 13 people have died in the shooting rampage, including the gunman.

Mayor Vincent Gray said at a news conference Monday afternoon that the shooter was among the dead. Officials say the gunman has been identified as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis.

Earlier in the day, authorities had been looking for two other people who may have been involved in the shooting. One of those people has been identified and ruled out as a suspect.

However, Gray says investigators are still searching for a third individual wearing an olive-green, military-style uniform to determine if he was involved.

Gray says a motive has not yet been determined.

Military records show Alexis enlisted in the Navy in 2007 and left in January 2011 as an aviation electrician's mate 3rd class.

His home of record was listed as New York City.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Previous Story

Police say a man in a tan, military-style outfit who had been sought in connection with the shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard has been identified and is not a suspect or a person of interest in the slayings.

The D.C. Police Department said in a tweet Monday that the man has been identified and is not believed to be a gunman or otherwise involved in the shootings that left 12 dead.

One gunman is dead.

Chief Cathy Lanier had said earlier in the day that police were searching for two other people wearing military-style uniforms. It wasn't known if those two people were actually military employees.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Police say at least 12 people have died in the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said during a news conference Monday that 12 people were confirmed dead.

Lanier says people are being told to stay in their homes and out of the area as authorities search for two other possible suspects. One of the shooters has died.

The police chief says officers are searching for two other people with firearms wearing military-style uniforms.

She says there is no indication of a possible motive at this time.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

As many as three gunmen opened fire Monday inside one of the Navy's oldest buildings, attacking office workers at a heavily guarded military facility in the heart of the nation's capital. At least six people were killed.

One of the gunmen was dead, and police were searching for two other men believed to have joined in the attack at the Washington Navy Yard. The suspects were reportedly dressed in military-style clothing, including one who had on a beret.

In all, more than a dozen people were shot, at least half of them fatally. It was not immediately clear whether that number included the dead gunman.

The attack unfolded just a short distance from the White House and the U.S. Capitol at a former shipyard that is one of the Navy's oldest shore facilities.

The building that was targeted was the military's headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command, which buys, builds and maintains ships, submarines and combat systems. About 3,000 people work at the headquarters, many of them civilians.

Witnesses described a gunman opening fire from a fourth-floor overlook, aiming down on people in the first-floor cafeteria. Others said a gunman fired at them in a third-floor hallway.

It was not clear whether the witnesses on different floors were describing the same gunman.

As emergency vehicles and law enforcement officers flooded streets around the complex, a helicopter hovered overhead, nearby schools were locked down and airplanes at nearby Reagan National Airport were briefly grounded so they would not interfere with law-enforcement choppers. Less than 2 miles away, security was beefed up at the Capitol and other federal buildings, but officials said there was no known threat.

President Barack Obama mourned yet another mass shooting in the U.S. that he said took the lives of American patriots. Obama promised to make sure "whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible."

Two Navy officials confirmed at least six people had died. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the situation publicly.

Todd Brundidge, an executive assistant with Navy Sea Systems Command, said he and other co-workers encountered a gunman in a long hallway on the third floor. The gunman was wearing all blue, he said.

"He just turned and started firing," Brundidge said.

Terrie Durham, an executive assistant with the same agency, said she also saw the gunman firing toward her and Brundidge.

"He aimed high and missed," she said. "He said nothing. As soon as I realized he was shooting, we just said, 'Get out of the building.'"

Rick Mason, a civilian program-management analyst for the Navy, said a gunman was shooting from the overlook in the hallway outside his office.

Shortly after the gunfire, Mason said, someone on an overhead speaker told workers to seek shelter and later to head for the gates at the complex.

Patricia Ward, a logistics-management specialist, said she was in the cafeteria getting breakfast.

"It was three gunshots straight in a row - pop, pop, pop. Three seconds later, it was pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, so it was like about a total of seven gunshots, and we just started running," Ward told reporters several blocks away from the Navy Yard.

Ward said security officers started directing people out of the building with guns drawn.

One person died at George Washington University Hospital of a single gunshot wound to the left temple, said Dr. Babak Sarani, director of trauma and acute care surgery. A police officer and two civilian women were in critical condition at Washington Hospital Center, said Janis Orlowski, the hospital's chief operating officer.

Orlowski said the police officer was in the operating room with gunshot wounds to the legs. One woman had a gunshot wound to the shoulder. The other had gunshot wounds to the head and hand.

Naval Sea Systems Command is the largest of the Navy's five system commands and accounts for a quarter of the Navy's entire budget. Only security personnel were allowed to be armed on the campus.

The Navy Yard has three gates, according to its website. One is open around the clock and must be used by visitors. A second gate is only for military and civilian Defense Department employees. The other gate is for bus traffic.

The Navy Yard is part of a fast-growing neighborhood on the banks of the Anacostia River in southeast Washington, just blocks from the Nationals Park baseball stadium.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Previous Story

Police in Washington, D.C., are looking for two other possible gunmen, after a shooting today at the Washington Navy Yard that left six people dead.

Officials say at least four others were wounded, including a law enforcement officer. Police say a third gunman has died, though they're not saying how.

Witnesses describe a gunman opening fire from the fourth floor, aiming down at people in a first-floor cafeteria. Others say a gunman fired at them in a third-floor hallway. It's not clear whether they're describing the same shooter.

Police say the two other potential gunmen were wearing military-style uniforms, including one who was wearing a beret. The police chief says one of them had a long gun, and the other was also armed.

The shooting prompted nearby schools to be put on lockdown. And planes at Reagan National Airport were briefly grounded so they wouldn't interfere with police helicopters. Less than two miles away, security was beefed up at the U.S. Capitol, but police said there was no known threat there.

About 3,000 people work at the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters. It builds, buys and maintains the Navy's ships and submarines and its combat systems.

President Barack Obama promised to make sure, quote, "whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible."

He said the victims were "courageous Americans" who knew about the risks of serving overseas, but wouldn't have expected such "unimaginable violence" at home.

The White House says the president has been receiving frequent briefings about the unfolding situation by senior aides.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


NBC News is reporting that ten people were shot at the Washington Navy Yard, and four people have died.

Two of the people shot are police officers.

Reports say a heavily-armed man opened fire inside the military installation. It is possible there is are multiple shooters, according to NBC.

A federal law enforcement official tells the Associated Press that the shooter has died.

At least one gunman opened fire inside the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters, where about 3,000 people work just miles from the Capitol.

Among the wounded was a D.C. police officer, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation.

Camp Lejeune said their threat level has not been increased in response to the mass shooting.



Previous Story

Twelve people were shot at the Washington Navy Yard Monday morning, and four of them have died, according to NBC News. NBC is also reporting that there are multiple shooters.

The Navy earlier reported that one person was injured in the facility where 3,000 people work.

Police from multiple local and federal agencies were responding along with SWAT crews.

A Defense Department official said a shooter was contained but not in custody.



Previous Story
The U.S. Navy says one person is injured after a shooting at a Navy building in Washington.

Police and emergency crews gathered Monday morning outside the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters building, where the shooting was reported.

The Navy says three shots were fired and that that about 3,000 people work in the building. People inside the building have been directed to stay in place.

Naval Sea Systems Command is the largest of the Navy's five system commands and accounts for a quarter of the Navy's entire budget.

It builds, buys and maintains the Navy's ships and submarines and their combat systems.

Police from multiple local and federal agencies were responding along with SWAT crews.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WITN

275 E. Arlington Blvd. Greenville, NC 27858 252-439-7777
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 223898831 - witn.com/a?a=223898831
Gray Television, Inc.