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What we do and don’t know so far in the Navy Yard shooting

What we do and don’t know so far in the Navy Yard shooting

The FBI identified the deceased gunman in today’s Washington Navy Yard shooting as Aaron Alexis.  The agency released photos of him and is asking for the public’s assistance in providing any information concerning Alexis.

The reporting on today’s incident is still very fluid – in fact, much of it kept changing as I was in the midst of writing this post and will likely continue to change.  That said, we’ll try to offer some of the basic background here and will update with new developments as more details are confirmed.

Twelve people were killed in today’s incident, plus the gunman.  Initial reports indicated that there may have been more than one shooter (though it’s unclear if this is still the case), and the gunman was initially misidentified.  Officials initially said they believed Alexis may have used the ID of a former employee in order to gain access to the facility.

Alexis is said to have recently resided in Texas, and was originally from New York.  He spent four years as a Navy reservist before being discharged and then worked for a subcontractor to Hewlett Packard.

From the Washington Post:

Alexis, a native of New York City, worked for a company called The Experts, a subcontractor to Hewlett Packard on a federal contract to work on the Navy Marine Corps Intranet network, according to a statement from Hewlett Packard. It was unclear if Alexis was still employed by that subcontractor, or if his work took him to the Navy Yard.

Alexis died at the scene of Monday’s shooting, in which at least 12 other people died. D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said no motive is known.

By Monday afternoon, a portrait of Alexis had begun to emerge. He lived until recently in Fort Worth, where he was seen frequently at a Buddhist temple, meditating and helping out. He was pursuing a bachelor’s of science degree in aeronautics as an online student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Alexis is said to have enlisted in the Navy in May, 2007 and graduated from boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois.  As a reservist, he later served at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth until being discharged in 2011, according to NBC 5 DFW.

He eventually became an aviation electrician’s mate, a Petty Officer Third Class, who served at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth until he was discharged on Jan. 31, 2011. While enlisted, Alexis received the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Alexis was reportedly arrested in 2010 for discharging a firearm within a municipality, after he fired a shot through the ceiling of his apartment.  He told police at the time that he’d been cleaning the firearm when it accidentally discharged, according to the police report.  Police declined to file any charges in that incident.

Alexis was also reportedly arrested in 2004 over an incident in Seattle, according to the Wall Street Journal:

In a separate incident, Seattle police said Mr. Alexis had been arrested in 2004 for shooting out the tires of another man’s vehicle in an anger-fueled “blackout.” Mr. Alexis told police at the time he had been deeply disturrbed [sic] by events he witnessed during the attack of Sept. 11, 2001. Police said Mr. Alexis’s father said his son had been involved in 9/11 rescue efforts and had post-traumatic stress and anger-management issues.

In a 6:15pm EST update, NPR reported that officials were still trying to determine whether or not a second suspect was involved.

In a televised press conference, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said people inside the Navy Yard complex are being asked to continue to shelter in place.

This is because police are still trying to determine if a second person was involved in the shooting rampage.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray corrected his earlier statement that the second person of interest was seen on surveillance video. He did say that they still searching for a second suspect.

However, reports seem to have died down this evening regarding the possibility of a second shooter, so it’s unclear whether or not that is still an active concern.

Officials have not determined a definitive motive at this time.

There are other reports of additional details that I haven’t included here until such time they’ve been confirmed by officials.


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Prayers for all those hurt by this atrocity.

The head case shooter fell through the cracks. The 2004 incident should have followed him. Was he coddled for some reason? If I shot a car here in MA, I’d be thoroughly prosecuted and would lose gun privileges for life.

    Lina Inverse in reply to JerryB. | September 16, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    The current official word is that the police lost his paperwork. Based on a search I just did, malicious mischief in Washington state causing more than $750 is a felony; if he’d be properly prosecuted … even the lessor version is a serious (“gross”) misdemeanor, probably would have kept him out of the Navy, might have kept him from getting the Secret clearance it’s being reported his boss said he held.

    As usual, the powers that be are asking the law abiding to pay for the former’s failures.


Plus, more here: Black Thug Aaron Alexis Identified as Gunman in Washington Navy Yard Shooting,

Black thug with a criminal record. Not a tea party type, obviously.

We DO know the left will (have already started) use this to blame it on ‘lack of gun control’, instead of ‘deranged lunatic’.

We DO know that they will try to claim that this person who decided to go slaughter as many people as he could before he was killed himself would probably have said to himself ‘Oh, shit, it would be illegal for me to obtain a handgun, or I might have to get an off-brand rifle or shotgun, so maybe I’ll just fucking sit home and jerk off again’, saving many lives.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to pjm. | September 16, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    No I think he could have just fired off anywhere but he CHOSE the navy facility.

    I do not see deranged lunatic.

      Umm… you see ‘SANE person going somewhere and killing 13 people’ ? Really ?

        Valerie in reply to pjm. | September 17, 2013 at 9:54 am

        Evidence of choice and planning tends to militate against a finding that a person is insane.

          Henry Hawkins in reply to Valerie. | September 17, 2013 at 10:05 am

          Depends on who is doing the planning and choosing. If it’s command hallucinations….

          I certainly did not mean ‘not criminally responsible due to mental defect’ crazy etc. Rather ‘All f’d up in the head’ crazy. And if he wasn’t already dead, I would say ‘try him quickly, convict him, and kill him’.

          He planned it, he knew what he was doing, he had full ability to understand his own actions and their effect. He made his free choice, each time he pulled the trigger.

          Although I doubt DC has death penalty, but perhaps it would have been a Federal prosecution. In which case I still don’t know if there’s a SUPPOSED death penalty, but I’m sure Holder / Obama would never pursue it, or implement it.

          I doubt any death penalty would have stopped him. Especially one the means ‘after 30 years of special treatment on death row (better than the other inmantes), and a few million dollars of a high power defense team paid for by us, we’ll STILL be talking about maybe executing the sesntence and you). But I wish we had an EFFECTIVE death penalty anyway. It would deter SOME people. And it would be justice for those it did not.

          Luckily, a bullet solved that problem for us this time.

The talk now is about the pattern of watching everything, so not really watching anything. We had warnings about the underwear bomber and the Boston bombers, yet they skated by, while white women get full searches at airports, just to be “fair”.

With Snowden and this guy, how do they pass the security checks? This guy shot out someone’s tires for parking in front of his house, and shot through his ceiling, probably at a neighbor. Does his 911 trauma claim get him a pass?

But with Obama in charge, emphasis is on Holder distributing guns to cartels and attacking Zimmerman, with Lerner attacking the Tea Party. They are busy with their own internal war. The distractions of Syria or domestic terrorists just helps them hide their true intent in “fundamentally transforming America.”

    “while white women get full searches at airports, just to be “fair”.”

    No, because < 10 seconds after your bigoted priorities go into effect in the searches, our enemies will begin to co-opt those to whom you will give a pass because of their skin color.

Once again a ‘gun free zone’ left people sitting ducks. The tactics of this attach remind me a lot of Charles Whitman and his attack from the UT Tower in Austin, TX. During that attack the heavily armed Texas populace laid down a withering barrage of fire pinning him down and no doubt saving countless lives. There was a cloud of dust around the top of the tower from 30.06 rounds hitting the limestone around the gunman (Texans are fond of their deer rifles). The police officer who stormed the tower and shot Whitman was backed up by an armed citizen.

    Why commissioned offers – at the very minimum – aren’t authorized to carry sidearms on military installations is something I’ll never understand. Most wouldn’t, but just the few that would could make the entire problem moot. Too much risk to the shooter. I’d also include warrant officers and senior non-coms, but I have little sense, apparently.

      Valerie in reply to 49erDweet. | September 17, 2013 at 9:58 am

      Commissioned officers? Really? You mean like 1st lieutenants?

      If we arm anybody first, it had better be experienced, non-commissioned officers.

This is sad all around. So many lives lost because some nut used people for target practice. What makes it worse is that he’s dead so nobody can hang him for his crimes.

Will Obama also call this “work-place violence”?

    There’s no motive yet. He wasn’t screaming Allahu Akbar to give people a clue. It may well be “workplace violence”.

      TugboatPhil in reply to Sanddog. | September 16, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      While he might not be a Jihadi, workplace violence doesn’t usually involve shutting down a major airport, closing off part of a city, mobilizing every law enforcement agency in a 50 mile area and helicopter medevacs.

      This WAS terrorism.

        If it had happened elsewhere, the reaction probably would have been different. DC is so self important, every violent action not directed towards the “little people” is seen as an attack on the massive federal behemoth.

I want to know more about the 2004 arrest in Seattle, mainly was he formally charged and if so, was he convicted in any way.

I ask because even without a conviction this is the sort of thing I would imagine the Navy wouldn’t care for too much…

One thing we won’t hear from Obama: “If I had a younger brother, he’d look like Aaron Alexis.”

How many of the victims could have been obama’s child?

He got his gun from a safe in the Navy yard.

Expect the Democrats to say that military bases/areas should be gun free zones.

Oops! They are! Ask Nidal Hassan and Aaron Alexis.

Murderer had “Secret” clearance. And, he worked for a contractor. Today, was the first day of his new assignment at the Navy Yard.

Let’s talk about this “clearance club.” Because it’s a club you enter. And, then you get jobs that require you have clearance.


You want the freaks in congress to solve this rat hole of “logic” they’ve created?

Today, Dianne Feinstink came out to demand the senate pass a gun restrictions bill.

Don’t let a tragedy go to waste, don’t cha know?

As usual, there are a few things here which “don’t compute”. The reports are usually wrong, but they’re all we have, so we press onward.

A history of negligent firearm discharges and “rage-induced blackouts” – and that’s putting the most favorable spin on both – should end any real likelihood of legal gun possession, and if they don’t, we might reasonably ask why we bother with gun licensing at all.

And I have to wonder how the race-baiters will handle this. Recall that certain parties have been trying to push the meme that mass shootings are the exclusive province of white men. (Colin Ferguson of Long Island commuter train fame is apparently safely buried down the memory hole.)

    You may be suffering a misconception. In most states there is no licensing process for merely owning a normal gun. It is your constitutional right. The licensing is for concealed carry of a handgun or for owning certain types of highly restricted rapid-fire weapons.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to 49erDweet. | September 17, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      FWIW, in NC you can buy a shotgun or rifle off the rack, no background check. To buy a handgun you must obtain a purchase permit from the local Sheriff’s Dept, awarded after a background check (NC is ‘must issue’). A concealed carry permit requires the same, plus proof of completion of a CCP class by a licensed provider. Once you have a NC CCP, you can also buy handguns without further background checks.

Krauthammer is right that, if Barry were not a narcissistic sociopath, he would have postponed his speech today, which was mostly a tirade against Republicans.

It’s actually an indication of how tone-deaf and isolated Barry has become: his attack on the R’s today was lost in the 24/7 coverage of the shooting.

And the predictable Liberals’ weeping and gnashing over gun control will also hurt Barry’s efforts to demonize the R’s

Hamlet-like abroad and whiny/nasty at home — that’s our Barry!

You realize we now know more about this guy in just a few hours using only the Internet than the government was apparently able to dig up during their investigation for this guys ‘secret’ clearance? Or the ATF was able to find with a Form 4?

Oh, well. Since all the laws we have on the books already couldn’t compete with government incompetence, the obvious solution here is to make more laws! Right? To give the same incompetent government more authority! Hey, let’s start with a few laws that take away more of my guns rights. I mean, honestly. Do I really Need that rifle? Do I really Need those 30 round magazines? What do you think, Sen Feinstein?/s

    el polacko in reply to JohnC. | September 17, 2013 at 3:39 am

    …and now the FBI is asking the public for information on this guy ?!? what the heck kind of background check did they do on him ?

And here comes Senator Feinstein (with tacit approval from Mr. Obama, no doubt) to exploit the crisis with renewed calls for Gun Control.

These demagogues make me sick.

Secret-level clearances are handed out almost like candy. They are broadly necessary for military/defense work, especially in the information field. Was there a background check done on the guy before he was hired by the contractor firm? Did his employers simply note that he had a clearance when he was on active duty and conclude that he’s good?

According to one story, he left the Navy under a Bad Conduct Discharge. The Navy comic sans bio didn’t mention his disciplinary history or discharge. If it was a BCD, was he able to appeal it and get it changed to a less damaging discharge so he could be hired as a contractor? If so, who made that call?

So of course the “progressives” call for “common sense gun laws.” They tell us we need such laws in order to build a safer society, that it’s for the children. But you and I have a different definition of “common sense gun law” than they do. They are expert at speaking the language of their target audience, allowing the target audience to assume a certain meaning when there is a withheld different meaning.

Follow the “progressive” logic: We must stop the mass killings. We have to make it impossible for bad people to get guns. There can be only way to keep guns out of the hands of maniacs and violent criminals: our society must give up all guns. Anything less, and we run the risk of a lunatic or thug getting her/her hands on a firearm. But they don’t have the balls to state it openly. So instead they chip away, bit by bit, gaining whatever ground they can.

Call them on it. Force their agenda into the light of day. Let honest citizens decide if they want to give up their firearms.

But wait, there’s more. This guy transported weapons (probably loaded) through a city where it is illegal to do so (Supreme Court decision notwithstanding), a so-called “gun free zone.” How was he able to do that? Simple, he has freedom of access to public roads and the will to knowingly violate the law.

The only he could have been stopped was if his vehicle was searched prior to his entering the city. How else would you know that a given vehicle had no weapons?

Of course the solutions are ludicrous and contrary to our founding principles, but they are the logical conclusions to the Democrats’ arguments. So force them to live by their rulebook. Make them say openly what they don’t have the guts to say openly. Don’t give them room to erode liberty.

    DriveBy in reply to punfundit. | September 17, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Chill out! The guy took VP Biden’s advice and legally purchased a shotgun at a local DC sporting goods store. It appears more likely that he took the AR-15 and the handgun from his victim(s).

      Lina Inverse in reply to DriveBy. | September 17, 2013 at 10:25 am

      But according to that report it was a Remington 870 repeating pump shotgun, not one of the fancy and expensive over and under 2 barrel shotguns Biden is so in love with.

      punfundit in reply to DriveBy. | September 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      It does not matter which weapon he transported (and then carried). It was illegal for him to do so in DC. He chose not to obey that law, among many others.

      DC § 22-4504.02. Lawful transportation of firearms.

      (a) Any person who is not otherwise prohibited by the law from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be permitted to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry the firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry the firearm if the firearm is transported in accordance with this section.

      (b) (1) If the transportation of the firearm is by a vehicle, the firearm shall be unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported shall be readily accessible or directly accessible from the passenger compartment of the transporting vehicle.
      (2) If the transporting vehicle does not have a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment, the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console, and the firearm shall be unloaded.
      (c) If the transportation of the firearm is in a manner other than in a vehicle, the firearm shall be:

      (1) Unloaded;
      (2) Inside a locked container; and
      (3) Separate from any ammunition.

With the exception of the two Police Officers, It appears that he only killed non-military (non-uniform wearing) people. Why did he go to a Naval facility to kill a bunch of civilians? A place with thousands of uniformed Sailors and Marines walking around in his line of fire? I don’t get it…

    Semper Why in reply to DriveBy. | September 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    It’s pretty much an effect of the population of the Navy Yard. Most of the employees there are non-uniformed Navy employees or contractors.

Officials: Gunman treated for mental health issues

So now we have the why. Hearing voices is an issue and now those who were treating him for his mental illness need to be questioned as to IF his diagnosis was reported. IF it was reported, to whom? And when does the State jurisdiction have the responsibility to confiscate any owned firearms? Where did he live? MD, DC or VA?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to dscott. | September 17, 2013 at 11:04 am

    HIPAA laws can make reporting very difficult if the patient will not sign consents to release information. General consents are not allowed and must be specific as to who receives info and the specific content of the released info.

    MH clinicians, depending on jurisdiction, have varying Duty To Warn/Duty to Report requirements, which when justified override HIPAA laws on confidentiality.

    Some treatment venues make voluntary MH/SA treatment contingent on the patient agreeing to sign certain consents authorizing the release of specified info. (Example: the DWI Program section of my clinic requires clients sign consents to release info to the NCDMV, while our CJ-Intensive OP SA Program requires clients sign consents to release info to their probation officers).

    This Navy Yard shooting is too new to have revealed this level of detail into Alexis’ MH treatment program, of course, but it may not have had consent, or alexis may not have provided justification while in treatment for clinicians to exercise Duty To Warn or Duty To Report requirements.

    HIPAA = Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

      Since the Sandy Hook shootings, Obama and his fellow bleeding hearts have had ample opportunity to propose and amend the HIPAA rules. Did they? Did anyone object to amending the rules to give mental health providers the responsibility and duty to report to the legal authorities that someone was being treated for a potentially violent mental disability as “hearing voices” can be? Virtually every mass shooting in the US involves a nutjob. Mass shootings are rare and would be rarer still if you enforce the existing laws on being mentally competent to own a firearm. After all, most states prohibit the purchase of any firearm IF you have a diagnosed mental disease. IF you can prohibit the purchase then you also have the legal authority to confiscate when an individual’s mental condition changes. You can’t own continue to own if you have the prerequisite disqualification.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to dscott. | September 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm

        “Did anyone object to amending the rules to give mental health providers the responsibility and duty to report to the legal authorities that someone was being treated for a potentially violent mental disability as “hearing voices” can be?”

        It would be useless to report to the authorities every ‘potentially’ violent mental disability – almost all of them are potentially violent. As for hearing voices, they rarely lead to violence. We only hear about the violent events, because ‘schizophrenic hears voices, harms no one’ isn’t news. Is it feasible to lock up or keep under surveillance 100% of patients reporting audio hallucinations when 99.99% will not commit a violent act in response? Substance abusers hold far more potential for violence.

        “Virtually every mass shooting in the US involves a nutjob. Mass shootings are rare and would be rarer still if you enforce the existing laws on being mentally competent to own a firearm.”

        Mental illness is transitory. You can be utterly sane when you legally buy your weapon in 2013 and totally bonkers in 2015 when you shoot up a mall or school. Of course, I agree anyone with a history of mental incompetence ought to be denied legal purchase of firearms. But plenty of people decompensate into incompetence well after legally purchasing firearms. I’d agree with maintaining a database cross-referenced with weapon registration to screen out anyone who is adjudicated mentally incompetent. But once again, all we accomplish is preventing their legal purchase of a firearm. How easy it is to steal or borrow one.

        “After all, most states prohibit the purchase of any firearm IF you have a diagnosed mental disease. IF you can prohibit the purchase then you also have the legal authority to confiscate when an individual’s mental condition changes. You can’t own continue to own if you have the prerequisite disqualification.”

        At some point you’d have to draw distinct lines. Should a military vet diagnosed with PTSD be forever banned from owning a weapon? Should someone diagnosed with bereavement depression after the death of his wife and child in 1982 be forever banned?
        Should their be categorical bans, as in all depression diagnoses, or all schizophrenic diagnoses, or all bipolar diagnoses? All three of these have the ‘potential’ for violence, though the actual percentage rates are very very low. Where to draw the lines? Who to draw the lines?

        While I agree with an mental illness component to firearm safety, it is not so easily done.

          That’s the point, a debate and working out of the details needs to happen. The MSM isn’t interested in any debate that really addresses the issues of mental health. So let’s just cut them out and light a fire under the pols.

    Semper Why in reply to dscott. | September 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    He presumably lived in Virginia. If the Washington Times is correct and he bought a shotgun from the Lorton, VA gun store (most likely Sharpshooters), then he would have to be a Virginia resident. There are exceptions to the residency requirement for active duty military personnel, but Alexis was a civilian contractor.

Genuine sadness has overcome the MSM today, facts for their pet issues have not materialized and thus dashed their hopes for using the tragedy to advance their agenda:

Pamela Brown @PamelaBrownCNN
ATF confirms it has traced firearm involved in #NavyYardShooting
about 1 hour ago

Pamela Brown @PamelaBrownCNN
FBI Washington field office just confirmed gunman was NOT armed with AR15. Spokesperson says 1 shotgun and 2 pistols recovered
about 1 hour ago

Not a Tea Party activist, no full auto weapon involved, shooter wasn’t white, nor was he judged sane. The only good news, the shooter was a male. Now the MSM will have to decide whether to salvage/squander what little credibility they have left on this fact.

    Browndog in reply to dscott. | September 17, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    MSM will never lit go of their lie.

    They’ll keep banging that drum until it becomes a fact.

    Minutes ago, ABC News (WJR radio) said “the shooter brought a shot gun, and had an assault weapon hidden inside.”

    The AR-15 was invented out of whole cloth.

    In a month, 55% of the public will know for a fact the shooter used an AR-15.

In the 1950’s for many years, I had a summer job that took me to every Army, Navy and Air Force base, in and around DC, including the Navy Yard. Security at every one, except the hospitals, was copious and strict. So what has changed to make slipshod?