The Washington Navy Yard has been a grisly scene of tragedy; with a shooter killing at least six people this Monday morning. An unnamed shooter went on a deadly murderous spree at around 8:20 a.m. and shot as many as 11 people while making his way around the extensive building close to 3,000 people work on the naval base.
News of the disturbing chain of events reached the masses when the Navy said on their Twitter feed that there was an active shooter at building 197 at the Washington Navy Yard and that three shots had been fired.
Rick Mason, a program management analysis for the navy, reported that he heard an armed man shooting from an overlook on the fourth floor in the hallway that is outside of his office. He explained that the gunman was aiming at the cafeteria below him where people had been seated.
Patricia Ward, a logistics management specialist, was in the cafeteria when the shooting began. “I heard three shots—pow, pow,pow. Thirty seconds later I heard four more shots.”
James Killingworth, a mason from Maryland was working on rebuilding a historic wall near the deadly scene when he saw the chaos that ensued this morning. “Everything they had, Secret Service, federal police, everyone came speeding down the street. I’ve never seen so many police in my life,” he explained. “Scary morning.”
The chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, Cathy Lanier, said that there might be two other gunmen with both dressed in military-style uniforms and one wearing a beret. Law enforcement officials said one of the two shooters that is being searched for is a white male who is wearing a khaki navy uniform and carrying a handgun. The other missing shooter is being described as a black male who is about 50 years old and carrying a long gun.
“The big concern for us right now is that we potentially have two other shooters that we have not located at this point,” explained Lanier at a brief news conference at the Navy Yard.
Although no name has been announced, officials have reported the dead shooter as being a former navy employee whose work status had been changed earlier in the year.
President Obama weighed in on this dismal morning during his live speech regarding the fifth anniversary of the financial crisis. “We still don’t know all the facts, but we do know several people have been shot and some have been killed,” President Obama said. “We’re confronting yet another mass shooting and today it happened on a military installation in our nation’s capital. It’s a shooting that targeted our military and civilian personnel.”
Obama praised the people who sacrifice for this country everyday. “These are men and women who were going to work doing their jobs and protecting all of us.” He added, “They’re patriots. They know the dangers of serving abroad, but today they faced the unimaginable violence that they wouldn’t have expected at home.”
For the past four years the U.S. has averaged a cataclysmic total of one mass shooting a month. ThinkProgress determined that there have been fourteen mass shootings since December 14, 2012- the fateful date that the Sandy Hook Elementary mass murder happened. As the gun debate continues to press on, these mass shootings have to be taken into consideration as a disturbing trend that needs to end as more lives tragically end.
This shooting continues to develop as the search for the shooter continues.
If anyone wants to find out any information on family members during this tragic event please call 202-433-6151 or 202-433-9713.