Washington Navy Yard Investigation Looks For Answers
A candlelight vigil took place in Washington D.C. Monday night to remember the 12 people gunned down by Aaron Alexis at the Washington Navy Yard as the investigation into what led to the shooting continues.
5:00 p.m. – An attorney for a Virginia gun store says the man identified as the gunman bought a shotgun and ammo two days before the rampage. Michael Slocum said in an email that Aaron Alexis visited Sharpshooters Small Arms Range on Saturday. He says Alexis rented a rifle, bought bullets and used the range.
4:32 p.m. – Alexis was dumped bya woman he met on a trip to Thailand according to the New York Post. He developed a crush on her and invited her back to the US and took it hard when she turned him down.
3:17 p.m. – Washington DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier outlined the first minutes of receiving word about the shooting. She said they had at least 2 units inside the building at the Yard within seven minutes reports CNN. It took officers several minutes to determine which building the shooting was taking place in. She said it’s excpected the officer shot in both legs will make a full recovery.
Alexis arrived in Washington on August 25 and checked into a Residence Inn on September 7 according to Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the Washington FBI field office, and would like to talk to anyone who might have had contact with him.
2:00 p.m. – A review of physical security measures has been ordered by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel following Monday’s shooting.
1:58 p.m. – Alexis exhibited signs of mental problems in recent months and was working in Newport, Rhode Island in August according to CNN. He also left home in New York after the 9/11 attacks and wandered from place-to-place.
A Virginia gun store released a statement saying they will not comment on whether or not the weapon used in the shooting was purchased there.
12:54 p.m. – The Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves will make up yesterday’s game at Nationals Stadium. The Nats will be wearing their patriotic blue uniforms and observe a moment of silence at the start of the first game.
11:45 a.m. – Police have released the remaining names of the victims of the Naval Yard shooting.The victims are: Michael Arnold, 59, Martin Bodrog, 54, Arthur Daniels, 51, Sylvia Frasier, 53, Kathy Gaarde, 62, John Roger Johnson, 73, Frank Kohler, 50, Mary Francis Knight, 51, Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46, Vishnu Pandit, 61, Gerald L. Read, 58 and Richard Michael Ridgell, 52.
11:40 a.m. – CBS News reports no AR-15 was used in the shooting. Alexis was found with a shotgun and up to 2 handguns
10:54 a.m. – U.S. officials say Aaron Alexis had a string of misconduct problems during his nearly three years in the military, but he received an honorable discharge. The officials say that Aaron Alexis, 34, had bouts of insubordination, disorderly conduct and was sometimes absent from work without authorization. The offenses occurred mainly when he was serving in Fort Worth, Texas, from 2008-2011, and were enough to prompt Navy officials to grant him an early discharge through a special program for enlisted personnel.
Officials said the bad conduct was enough to make it clear Alexis would not be a good sailor, but not enough to warrant a general or less-than-honorable discharge.
10:30 a.m. – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel laid a wreath in memory of the 12 shooting victims at the “The Lone Sailor” statue at Washington’s U.S. Navy Memorial plaza reports CNN. The U.S. Senate also observed a moment of silence; the House will do the same at 7 p.m.
10:01 a.m. – Washington Mayor Vincent Gray wonders if the federal sequestration contributed to the Navy Yard shooing. “It’s hard to know (what could have prevented it),” Gray said on CNN. “We’re continuing this investigation. But certainly, as I look at for example sequestration, which is about saving money in the federal government being spent, that we somehow skimped on what would be available for projects like this, and then we put people at risk. Obviously 12 people have paid the ultimate price for whatever — you know, whatever was done to have this man on the base.”
9:22 a.m. – CNN reports three people injured in the shooting are doing better today at MedStar Washington Hospital Center .A Washington male police officer and a female civilian are both in fair condition and a second female civilian is in good condition.
9:00 a.m. – A profile of the seven identified victims by Washington TV station WRC reveals many of them had long careers and many loved ones left behind.
8:55 a.m. – Aaron Alexis may have brought only a shotgun with him rampage. Investigators have recovered 3 weapons according to CNN and may have taken two handguns from guards.
7:57 a.m, – The Associated Press reports that Navy yard gunman Aaron Alexis had been treated since August by the Veterans Administration for serious mental illness including including paranoia, a sleep disorder. and `hearing voices.” The Navy had not declared him mentally unfit, which would have rescinded a security clearance that Alexis had from his earlier time in the Navy Reserves.
Police on Monday night released the names of seven of the victims. They are: Michael Arnold, 59, Sylvia Frasier, 53, Kathy Gaarde, 62, John Roger Johnson, 73, Frank Kohler, 50, Vishnu Pandit, 61 and Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46. The names of the remaining five victims will be released as family members are notified. They are all between the age 46-73.
The vigil, organized by the Project to End Gun Violence on Washington’s Freedom Plaza, drew a small crowd of mourners accoring to WUSA TV.
Fast Moving Developments
Following the confusion and fast moving developments of Monday in which there were believed to be three gunman at one point, the FBI says there was only one shooter. They are trying to determine a motive and are asking the public for any information about Alexis, a Queens native who grew up in Brooklyn. “No piece of information is too small,” Valerie Parlave of the FBI said Monday night according to CNN. “We are looking to learn everything we can about his recent movements, his contacts and associates.”
“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.
A profile of Alexis, 34, was coming into focus. He was described as a Buddhist who had also had flares of rage, complained about the Navy and being a victim of discrimination and had several run-ins with law enforcement, including two shootings.
The owner of a Thai restaurant in Texas frequented by Alexis describes him to the Washington Post as a ““13-year-old stuck in a 34-year-old body” who “needs attention.”
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 mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school that killed 20 students and six women. The weapon was also used in the shooting at a Colorado movie theater that killed 12 and wounded 70.
Meanwhile, it took hours to process 2,000 civilians at the Navy Yard before they could leave. The Washington Post reported that the FBI was interviewing every person before they left which discovered new information including a bag with a letter to one of the victims. The Navy Yard is closed today.
The Associated Press contributed to this report