The Washington Nationals, whose ballpark is close to the base, were told to stay away from their stadium during the search. A critical game against the division-leading Atlanta Braves was postponed until Tuesday. The official Major League Baseball description of the game was stark: “Postponed: Tragedy.”
Investigators said Alexis shot a security guard at Building 197, most likely with a shotgun he bought in Lorton in Fairfax County. He took the guard’s handgun before moving methodically through the interior, they said.
He shot 15 people, 12 fatally, and injured five others before he died, investigators said.
Authorities on Monday night released the names of seven of those who were killed: 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 Washington Post confirmed the identity of an eighth person, Arthur Daniels, 51.
Among those injured was a D.C. police officer who was shot twice in the leg. The officer, Scott Williams, a 23-year veteran, and the other injured victims all are expected to survive.
“There’s no question he would have kept shooting,” said
Lanier, who declined to say how many shots were fired from start to finish. Police said Alexis also had an assault rifle inside the building, but it was unclear whether he had brought it with him.
It took a series of shootouts to bring Alexis down, officials said. Active shooter teams engaged him several times before at least two officers — one from D.C. police and one from U.S. Park Police — fatally wounded the suspect, they said.
Perplexing to those as the event unfolded around them, and puzzling to investigators in the aftermath: How did a man with a shotgun pass through one of three gates where Marine and Navy security personnel screen all visitors?
“I don’t think we know that,” said Valerie Parlave, the assistant FBI director in charge of the D.C. field office. “The investigation is still very active.”
Several former military officers who work in the building said that there are armed guards at the main entrance and that employees must scan an access card. But two people who work there said those with properly coded cards can enter through a side door from a garage, bypassing the security guards.
Alexis had been working much of this year as a computer contractor for a company called The Experts and appeared to have a government-contractor access card that would have allowed him into the Navy Yard and other military installations, according to company chief executive Thomas Hoshko.
Alexis had a security clearance that was updated in July, approved by military security service personnel.