WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) -- Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis cleared a security
checkpoint with his contractor ID and carried his shotgun, unassembled,
into Building 197 within minutes of starting his bloody rampage Monday,
federal investigators said Tuesday.
Investigators revised and
refined the sequence of events at the Naval Sea Systems Command
headquarters that left 13 people dead, including Alexis, who was shot to
death in a showdown with police.
A federal law enforcement
official said Tuesday that Alexis, a former Navy reservists, had sought
assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs for mental illness as
recently as a month ago. The official said the 34-year-old contractor
recently paid about $540 to buy a 12-gauge shotgun and ammunition at a
gun store in Virginia.
The official, who spoke on condition of
anonymity because the criminal investigation is continuing, said
investigators believe that Alexis stopped in a men's restroom and
assembled the law-enforcement style shotgun, then proceeded to a spot on
the third or fourth floor that overlooked an interior atrium and began
Contrary to earlier reports provided by law
enforcement officials, Alexis was not believed to be in possession of an
AR-15 assault rifle, the official said.
several rounds randomly on the people below, the official said, then ran
down a flight of stairs where he confronted and shot a security
It is believed that Alexis took the officer's handgun and
returned to the overlook where he continued to shoot. At some point,
the official said, Alexis again left the location and confronted a
victim described as a maintenance person or building staffer. He shot
that person and returned one last time to the overlook where he was
ultimately killed in a confrontation with police.
Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the first Washington police officers,
two units, arrived on the scene two minutes after being dispatched.
minutes after the call, five to seven units had gone through the Navy
Yard gates, she said. Seven minutes after the first dispatch call, two
police units outside Building 197 heard shots fired and immediately
entered the building, she said.
Lanier said she did not
have the exact time of the final shootout that resulted in Alexis'
death, but she said law enforcement officers from various agencies
exchanged fire with Alexis several times. She said the entire incident
lasted 30 to 60 minutes.
The federal official said
investigators are just beginning to analyze Alexis' possessions to
determine if they might reveal any motive for the slayings.
didn't appear that he had any plan for escape,'' the official said. He
also said that "no one believes he was looking for anybody in
A witness, Rick Mason, a program management analyst, said the
gunman was aiming down at people in the building's cafeteria on the
Patricia Ward, a logistics management
specialist, said she was in the cafeteria. "I heard three shots - pow,
pow, pow. Thirty seconds later I heard four more shots."
panic, as people tried to get out of the cafeteria. "A lot of people
were just panicking. There were no screams or anything because we were
The Metropolitan Police Department identified five
additional victims Tuesday morning. They are Arthur Daniels, 51; Mary
Francis Knight, 51; Gerald L. Read, 58; Martin Bodrog, 54 and Richard
Michael Ridgell, 52.
The seven victims identified Monday night are
Michael Arnold, 59; Sylvia Frasier, 53; Kathy Gaarde, 62; John Roger
Johnson, 73; Frank Kohler, 50; Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46; and Vishnu
All were civilian employees and contractors, officials said.
At least three people, including a city police officer,
suffered non-fatal gunshot wounds inside Building 197. Hospital
officials said all three were expected to recover. Authorities said five
other people suffered minor non-gun injuries.
FBI Assistant Director Valerie Parlave declared Tuesday that law
enforcement officials, who had worried on Monday that a second shooter
might have been involved, now believe that Alexis "acted alone."
another development, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called for a
security review at military installations around the world in the wake
of the shootings, a Pentagon official said Tuesday. The review will
consider physical security and access to military bases.
followed a call by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus for a review of security
procedures at Navy and Marine bases. It is to be completed by Oct. 1.
sailors, Marines, and civilians are familiar with the dangers of
service, but our security is something we can never take for granted,"
Mabus said in a statement. "I ordered a review of every Navy and Marine
Corps base in the United States to ensure that we live up to our
responsibility of taking care of our people. "
Gortney, commander U.S. Fleet Forces Command, will lead the review for
the Navy. Lt. Gen. Rick Tryon, commander U.S. Marine Corps Forces
Command, will lead the review for the Marine Corps.
and other officials did not offer any comments as they laid a wreath in
honor of the victims, but the setting and the somber mood said it all.
a servicemember played taps, Hagel, along with Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs Martin Dempsey and Washington Mayor Vincent Gray, placed the
wreath next to "The Lone Sailor" statue at the Navy Memorial that
represents "all people who have ever served, are serving now, or are yet
to serve in the United States Navy."
U.S. flags were lowered to half-staff on Capitol Hill and at the White House.
Kevin Johnson reported from Washington. Contributing: Tom Vanden Brook in Washington, Associated Press
Kevin Johnson, Donna Leinwand Leger and Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY