OOIDA member sought shelter during Navy Yard shooting

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | Monday, September 16, 2013

OOIDA Member Jimmy Smith said he was maybe 300 yards away when the shooting started at Navy Sea Systems Command headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

Smith, an owner-operator from Newnan, Ga., was part of a crew setting up for a Tuesday morning event in the Yards Park for the Disney Jr. animated cartoon “Doc McStuffins” when shots were fired. Smith and other members of the crew then sought shelter at OOIDA’s Washington, D.C., office, located near the Department of Transportation building and approximately two blocks from the scene of the shooting.

“We weren’t paying attention to the noise, because there’s construction work going on and all that,” Smith said in a phone interview with Land Line. “We didn’t know it was actually gunfire. We just heard three rapid shots, you know, a pop-pop-pop, but we didn’t know what it was at that time. And then just minutes later, that’s when naval police came around and said there was a shooting and for us to clear the area.”

The death toll from Monday’s shooting rampage at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., climbed to 13, including the suspected shooter, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis of Fort Worth, Texas. Alexis died in a shootout with police at Navy Sea Systems Command headquarters, after a gun battle with police. It is the deadliest attack at a domestic military installation since the November 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, when an Army psychiatrist killed 13 people and wounded 30 more.

CBS News
is reporting that the assault began about 8:20 a.m. in the highly secure building, to which Alexis, an employee at a defense contractor, had an access pass. At least three other people are being treated for injuries, but D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said there could be as many as a dozen more injured.

Two of the 13 dead were law enforcement officers.

The FBI is investigating Alexis and is also seeking a black man in his 40s with gray sideburns, wearing an olive-drab military-style uniform, as a possible suspect.

The area around the Navy Yard remained under lockdown until approximately 6 p.m. Monday night, as police asked residents and businesses to “shelter in place.” The term “shelter in place” is used by government and agency officials to let them know to “lock down and stay put.”

Multiple reports on Monday initially cited the possibility of a second shooter; however, as of Tuesday, most news agencies were reporting that the gunman is believed to have acted alone.

Smith and his group walked about a block west from their location at 335 Waters St. to the Navy Yard office building.

“We found out there was more going on than what we anticipated,” he said. “That’s when everybody else came running out of the buildings.”

Smith said the office for Yards Park is right next door to OOIDA’s D.C. office.

“I saw the (OOIDA) sign in the door and I said, ‘Well, I’m a member, I wonder if there’s anybody in there?’” he said. “And Ryan (Bowley, OOIDA director of Government Affairs) happened to be here.”

In 42 years of truck driving, Smith said he’s never before experienced anything like this.

“I’ve never come to town with Disney where people tried to run us out with guns,” he said.

 

Original report and updates appear below.

 

UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 at 4:05 p.m. CDT


Death toll climbs to 13 in Navy Yard shooting, one suspect ID’ed
By Land Line staff

The death toll from an early morning shooting rampage at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., has climbed to 13 after one victim succumbed to injuries at a local hospital.

Law enforcement officials announced the latest death at a press conference minutes ago. They also identified the suspected shooter, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, of Fort Worth, Texas. Alexis died in a shootout with police at Navy Sea Systems Command headquarters.

Photo courtesy FBI

Suspected shooter, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, of Fort Worth, Texas

At least three other people are being treated for injuries, but D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said there could be as many as a dozen more injured.

Two of the 13 dead were law enforcement officers. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said officers from multiple agencies were involved in multiple engagements with the suspect in the building before what Lanier described as a “final battle” with the gunman.

The FBI is investigating Alexis and is also seeking a black man in his 40s with gray sideburns, wearing an olive-drab military-style uniform, as a possible suspect.

Authorities are not releasing the identities of the victims or any details of the scene, which is still an active crime scene. The area around the Navy Yard remains under lockdown, and police have asked residents and businesses to “shelter in place.”

 

 

UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 at 2:15 p.m. CDT

D.C. Police Chief: Death toll reaches 12 in Navy Yard shooting 

By
Land Line staff

At least 12 people are dead and others were wounded following a shooting rampage at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C., according to the district’s chief of police.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier announced the mounting death toll in a 2 p.m. news conference. One suspected shooter is dead, and Lanier said authorities were looking for two other potential suspects wearing green and tan military-style clothing. Minutes later, the D.C. police tweeted that the man in the tan clothing was no longer a suspect or person of interest.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray said no motive is known. He said they have no reason to believe it was an act of terrorism, though he could not rule it out.

Police are still looking for a black man in his 40s with gray sideburns, wearing an olive-drab military-style uniform.

Two law enforcement officials said a shooter is among the 12 dead. The dead shooter had an assault rifle and a handgun, according to a report published on the website of The Washington Post.

Original report as posted Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 at 12:15 p.m. CDT

OOIDA Member among those taking shelter in D.C. Navy Yard shooting

By Greg Grisolano,
Land Line staff writer

OOIDA Member Jimmy Smith said he was maybe 300 yards away when the shooting started at Navy Sea Systems Command headquarters in Washington, D.C., this morning.

Smith, an owner-operator from Newnan, Ga., was part of a crew setting up for a Tuesday morning event in the Yards Park for the Disney Jr. animated cartoon “Doc McStuffins.” Smith and other members of the crew were taking shelter at OOIDA’s Washington, D.C., office, located near the Department of Transportation building and approximately two blocks from the scene of the shooting.

“We weren’t paying attention to the noise, because there’s construction work going on and all that,” Smith said in a phone interview with Land Line. “We didn’t know it was actually gunfire. We just heard three rapid shots, you know, a pop-pop-pop, but we didn’t know what it was at that time. And then just minutes later, that’s when naval police came around and said there was a shooting and for us to clear the area.”

News sources are reporting multiple deaths and as many as 10 wounded following a shooting spree that began at around 8:20 a.m. Monday morning.

A gunman was shot and killed, according to official reports. The shooter is described as a former Navy official in his 50s whose work status was recently changed. His name has not been released.

Two law enforcement officers were among the injured when the suspect fired shots inside the 3,000-person building at 8:20 a.m. Law enforcement officials initially told personnel to evacuate the building, but they were later told to shelter in place.

Multiple reports cited the possibility of a second shooter; however, it has not been confirmed.

Smith and his group walked about a block west from their location at 335 Waters St. to the Navy Yard office building. In front of the building, Smith said he saw paramedics performing CPR on a victim, before loading the individual into an ambulance.

“We found out there was more going on than what we anticipated,” he said. “That’s when everybody else came running out of the buildings.”

Smith said the office for the yard’s park is right next door OOIDA’s D.C. office.

“I saw the (OOIDA) sign in the door and I said, ‘Well, I’m a member, I wonder if there’s anybody in there?’” he said. “And Ryan (Bowley, OOIDA director of Government Affairs) happened to be here.”

Bowley said, “We’re pretty much completely shelter in place.”

The term “shelter in place” is used by government and agency officials to let them know to “lock down and stay put.”

“Earlier I had our door locked, especially after I heard they found somebody that was a victim or injured as a result of this directly in front of our office building,” he said. “I’ve heard conflicting reports about whether the victim was shot in the face or suffered a heart attack.”

In 42 years of truck driving, Smith said he’s never before experienced anything like this.

“I’ve never come to town with Disney where people tried to run us out with guns,” he said.

The OOIDA office is on the 10th floor of the building, providing Bowley and Smith with a view of the scene at the yard. As of 11:32 a.m. D.C. time, Bowley said a large number of police and firefighters were leaving the scene.

Bowley has been tweeting updates and photos on his Twitter account. You can follow him: @ryan_bowley on Twitter.

Copyright © OOIDA

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