Investigators are still probing the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, which saw a gunman kill a dozen people and injure several more. The man named by authorities as the shooter had a history of mental illness and a checkered career as a Navy reservist. Meanwhile, information is slowly emerging about the victims killed in the rampage. Here are the latest updates on the shooting and its aftermath.
Twelve people were killed when a gunman opened fire inside the Washington Navy Yard on Monday morning. We have information on all of the victims here.
A profile of Aaron Alexis, the alleged gunman, has begun to emerge over the last day. He heard voices, sought help and left a trail of police reports, arrest records and mental health consultations in his wake. At the same time, neighbors remembered him as a typical teenager, and friends said they could not fathom how Alexis could have done this.
The chief of Naval Operations, testifying in front of the House Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill this morning, shot down suggestions that cost-cutting measures had impacted security.
“We don’t cut budgetary corners for security,” said Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, who was evacuated from his residence at the Navy Yard complex shortly after the first report of shots fired on Monday.
D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray had said Tuesday that the sequester may have played a role in the response to the shootings. In addition, a Pentagon Inspector General report released this week found that attempts to reduce costs were impacting how contractors could access Navy installations.
Cathleen Alexis, mother of the man identified by authorities as the gunman in Monday’s shootings, released a statement on Wednesday morning.
“Our son Aaron Alexis has murdered twelve people and wounded several others. His actions have had a profound and everlasting effect on the family of these victims. I don’t know why he did what he did and I’ll never be able to ask him why. Aaron is in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone. For that I am glad. To the families of the victims, I am so very sorry that this happened. My heart is broken.”
Alexis, who has not left her home since Monday, spoke to a pool reporter from her fourth-floor brownstone apartment. Family, friends and clergy have brought her food over the past three days. She is worried about going back to work and is concerned about using her name, although she has had supportive calls from some coworkers.
For her first public statement since the shooting, Alexis wore all black and met a reporter in her living room. Pastor Seabrook stood was on one side with his arm around her, Bishop Willie Billips of Faith, Hope and Charity House of God on the other. Both were sent by a joint police-clergy task force that was formed to reduce crime in Brooklyn.
Alexis did not talk to the pastors or the reporter about her relationship with her son or reveal when she had last spoken with him. According to Ryan Stoner, a neighbor who lives above the family, Aaron Alexis has never been to the house and was not at his sister’s wedding last year. When Pastor Seabrook told Cathleen Alexis that she was a victim as well, she downplayed her own loss, saying that the tragedy was not about that but about the victims in Washington.
The three gunshot victims taken to MedStar Washington Hospital Center are doing better, according to a statement released by the hospital this morning.
D.C. police officer Scott Williams, who was shot in the leg, and an unidentified woman shot in the shoulder have both been upgraded from “fair” to “good” condition. In addition, another unidentified woman with gunshot wounds to her head and hand was discharged on Tuesday.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said during a news conference that he is ordering reviews of security as well as clearance at installations.
“Where there are gaps, we will close them,” Hagel said. “Where there are inadequacies, we will address them. And where there are failures, we will correct them.”
BREAKING: Hagel orders security review at US defense facilities worldwide, review of security clearances.
The news conference featuring Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, began with remarks from both men about Monday’s shooting. Hagel discussed plans to review security clearances as well as security at military installations. But within minutes, reporters at the news conference had shifted the discussion to Syria.
A reporter asked Hagel and Dempsey if security reviews are good enough following repeated gun violence before asking for their views on potential changes to gun laws.
“Gun violence is an issue,” Hagel said. But he and Dempsey both said that it is not their roles to get involved in domestic political issues.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, echoed Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert’s testimony earlier this morning in saying that budgetary issues did not impact security at the Navy Yard.