The Washington Navy Yard gunman who killed 12 today has previously claimed to be suffering from PTSD after helping rescue efforts in New York following the 9/11 terror attacks.
Gunman Aaron Alexis was shot dead by responding officers after he opened fire inside a Navy facility around 8:00 a.m. on Monday morning.
Since he was identified as the shooter, reports have revealed that it was not the first time he was involved in a shooting.
In 2004, he was arrested in Seattle for shooting the tires of a construction worker’s car during what he later called an anger-fueled ‘blackout.’
‘He said that he didn’t remember pulling the trigger of his firearm until about one hour later,’ according to the Seattle police report.
Later he said that he felt the intended victim ‘disrespected’ him.
The report states that his father said his anger issues stemmed back to his time in New York where he helped the rescue efforts following the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The shooter’s father told police ‘that his son had experienced anger management problems that the family believed associated [sic] with PTSD.’
He was arrested in relation to that incident but never charged, an outcome repeated in Fort Worth, Texas where Alexis was living in 2010.
Then, he was arrested for discharging a firearm when his neighbor reported that he fired a shot into her apartment. At the time, Alexis claimed that his hand slipped when he was cleaning his gun while cooking at the same time, and that he accidentally fired the weapon.
Escape: Employees at the naval yard run from the building with their hands in the air following the shooting
Alexis, who had three different types of guns on him when he was shot, killed at least 12 people in cold blood Monday morning at the Washington Navy Yard. No motive has been revealed, but speculation is growing his dismissal from the U.S. Navy for ‘misconduct’ in January 2011 may have inspired him to commit deadly revenge.
The Pentagon confirmed that he was awarded the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal prior to his discharge in January 2011.
Family members of the Washington shooter are ‘distraught’ to learn that he carried out the massacre, relatives told MailOnline today.
Despite the lack of an acknowledged motive, one U.S. official has been quoted as saying Alexis was discharged from the Navy in 2011 following a series of incidents of ‘misconduct.’
Law enforcement said that his identity was confirmed by fingerprints and that he served in the U.S. Navy between May 5, 2007 and January 31, 2011.
A U.S. Navy spokesman said Alexis was an ‘aviation electrician’s mate’ – ranked as a third class petty officer – and served at the Naval Air Station in Fort Worth, Texas.
He is reported to have enlisted in New York. The Brooklyn native graduated from boot camp at Great Lakes, Illinois as an airman recruit.
Throughout the late 1990s until 2002, he was listed as living in Manhattan and Queens in New York City. He is still registered as a voter in New York City.
SHOOTER HAD BEEN HONORED FOR HIS WORK IN THE WAR ON TERROR
Petty Officer Third Class Aaron Alexis was awarded the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal prior to his discharge in January 2011. He was stationed at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas.
The military award was created on March 12th, 2003 by President George W. Bush and recognizes those who served in the armed forces and who performed a role in the War on Terror – which began as a direct result of the September 11th attacks.
To become eligible for the medal, 30 days of consecutive duty or 60 days of non-consecutive duty must be completed.
Alexis, who worked as a civilian I.T. contractor at the military base in the nation’s capital, entered the cafeteria of Building 197 just before 8:15 a.m. brandishing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun and a handgun, and began shooting.
It is thought that he used an identification card belonging to another employee of the base to gain entry to the heavily secured building where he carried out his deadly attack.
The FBI said that after SWAT teams swarmed the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command, an officer shot Alexis dead.
Witnesses said that during his rampage he appeared to fire at selected targets and not randomly.
The FBI’s Washington Field Office also said that it had ‘all [it] assets out’ in the field as they searched for one other possible shooter described as a black man in his 40s or his 50s.
According to a deleted Linked In profile, Alexis attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and worked for a tech firm.
A former roommate from Ft. Worth, the owner of Happy Bowl Thai restaurant, told NBC News he had not seen the man in three months.
Police records reveal that Alexis was arrested for accidently discharging a firearm at his Ft. Worth home in September 2010.
A witness who lived in a neighboring apartment told police that she heard a pop and then to her horror a hole appeared in her floor and ceiling.
Alexis told police he was cleaning his gun when while cooking and that his hands were slippery.
All charges against him were dropped.
Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department chief Cathy Lanier said the second potential gunman was wearing a military-style uniform and has greying sideburns.
‘It appears that we have at least 13 fatalities … it doesn’t get much more serious than that, obviously,’ added Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray during an afternoon press briefing.
‘We have no known motive at this stage. We will continue the investigation to try and figure out what that motive is.’
‘We don’t have any reason to suspect terrorism, but certainly it has not been ruled out.’
The White House- Washington DC. Outside the White House security presence was elevated after the mass shooting at the Washington Naval Yard
Previously, Lanier said law enforcement was searching for two individuals, one white and one black.
However, police have said they have identified the white individual and cleared him of suspicion.
‘The big concern for us right now is that we have potentially two other shooters that we have not located at this point,’ Lanier said Monday afternoon.
Witnesses reported one man described as an African-American male dressed in military fatigues and armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle opening fire upon entering the base at the Naval Sea System Command HQ.
Police are investigating whether the ID of a former Navy petty officer called Rollie Chance was used by Alexis to gain entrance to the the Navy Yard compound.
FBI investigators visited Chance’s home Monday but have not revealed how Alexis obtained the identification.
Todd Brundidge, an executive assistant with Navy Sea Systems Command, said he and other co-workers encountered a gunman in a long hallway of their building on the third floor. The gunman was wearing all blue, he said.
‘He just turned and started firing,’ Brundidge said.
Patricia Ward, who works at the Navy Yard, described how she was in the cafeteria when she heard ‘three gunshots, pow-pow-pow, straight in a row.’
‘All of the people that were in the cafeteria, we all panicked, and we were trying to decide which way we were going to run out,” she said to NBC News. “I just ran.’
Tim Hogan, a spokesman for Rep. Steven Horsford of Nevada, posted photos to his Twitter account of people helping someone who had been hit by gunfire.
The attacks came three days after al-Qaeda used the 12th anniversary of 9/11 to call for strikes on America.
The mass shooting was the deadliest in the United States since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut last December, and the worst at a military base since 13 people were killed at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.
Police who responded to shooting at the Washington Navy Yard Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, leave the facility
‘We don’t even know, most of us, ourselves, the identities of the victims at this stage,’ said Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray.
Three people, including a Washington D.C. police officer, were admitted to MedStar Washington Hospital Center with gunshot wounds.
They are expected to survive, chief medical officer Janis Orlowski told reporters this afternoon during an emotional press conference.
Hundreds of SWAT and FBI rapid response units descended on the nation’s capital to deal with the situation which unfolded just before 8.30 a.m. this morning.
Law enforcement personnel are seen through the gate into the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, on Monday, September. 16, 2013
Capital Attack: The Washington Naval Yard in relation to the Capitol Building and the White House – both buildings have had their security increased in the light of the shootings
Attack Aftermath: Media and emergency response personnel gather outside the US Navy Yard where at least one unidentified gunman opened fire at the US Navy Yard in Washington on Monday
The number of injured was not clear as of the early evening on Monday, but some reports placed it as high as 16. It was later confirmed to be eight individuals, three of whom were shot.
Initial reports from the scene were that one of the suspects walked up to the facility, opened fire and then ran inside the building.
‘The first call arrived, and ‘within 2 to 3 minutes, MPD officers were on the scene .. within 7 minutes we had active shooter teams … moving inside the building,’ said Lanier.
Metro police got into ‘a final gun battle’ that killed the suspect.
‘One of the worst things we’ve seen in Washington, D.C.’
‘There was gunfire still going on’ while officers searched.
‘There’s no question he would have kept shooting’ if officers hadn’t killed him
Civilians inside the military complex described the frantic scenes that greeted them first thing on a Monday morning.
On the move: The naval base descended into chaos after shots were fired around 8.20am
Solemn: A U.S. Capitol Police officer patrols the steps at the Capitol as the investigation continues at the nearby Washington Navy Yard where at least one gunman opened fire on Monday
‘There was three gunshots straight in a row,’ said Patricia Ward, who works at the Navy Yard, describing how she first heard the gunfire while having breakfast at the headquarters building.
A few seconds later, Ward said she heard four more gunshots. Security guards rushed in and got people out as fast as they could – ”Run, run, run, ‘they told people,’ Ward told reporters.
NBC News, citing a senior naval officer at the Navy Yard, said at least 12 people had been shot.
‘We saw him hold the rifle, and we saw him aim it in our direction,’ said one witness to Fox News.
Another Navy official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said more than one gunman may have been involved. The Washington Post reported at one point that there were several gunmen.
The Navy said in a statement the shooting took place at the heavily guarded headquarters, where about 3,000 people work.
The shooting hit the military establishment less than three week after U.S. Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan was sentenced to death for murdering 13 people in 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas, where he gunned down unarmed soldiers in what he later called retaliation for U.S. wars in Muslim countries.
The Navy Yard is believed to have tight security.
Visitors without military ID must have a valid reason for entry and provide some other civilian identification.
The gates are protected by U.S. Marines and civilian security guards.
The National Museum of the U.S. Navy is in the grounds of the Navy Yard – and open to the public. However they must show ID to enter.
One victim was reported to have been shot on the roof of a building, reported News4′s Tony Tull.
A U.S. Park Police helicopter lowered a basket to a building and lifted what appeared to be a shooting victim from the roof just before 10 a.m.
A Navy Yard employee told MailOnline that she thought the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard was undergoing a Fort Hood-style attack when she heard a total of nine shots on Monday morning, as a gunman opened fire on workers at one of the Navy’s largest facilities.
And she added that she wished she could have carried a gun to work with her.
‘A group of four of us were getting coffee down the hall and we heard three “pop, pop, pop” sounds,’ said Pat – who asked MailOnline not to publish her last name.
‘We all looked at each other and froze. And I said, “Oh, Jesus, here we go again. It’s another Fort Hood.”‘
Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 and injured 30 others in a jihad-inspired attack at the Texas military base on November 5, 2009. A military panel recommended a death sentence for Hasan on August 28.
Pat, who lives in a northern Virginia suburb of Washingtno, D.C., said she heard another group of six gunshots after the first barrage.
Armed: Police respond to the report of a shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC, September 16, 2013. A gunman shot and wounded at least one person Monday in a headquarters building at the US Navy Yard in Washington
Mass Emergency Response: A general view shows police and first responder activity on M Street, SE near the Washington Navy Yard on September 16, 2013 in Washington, DC
Heavy Vehicle: Police respond to the report of a shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC as a gunman shot and wounded at least one person Monday in a headquarters building at the US Navy Yard in Washington
Grief: Obama described the victims of the shootings as ‘patriots’ as he offered support to those affected by the DC naval yard shooting on Monday
‘They couldn’t have been more than 30 or 40 yards away. We didn’t hear people screaming or anything. I mean, these are military folks we work with. But within a half-minute everyone was rushing down the hall and headed to the emergency exits.’
Terror at the Washington Naval Yard: How events Unfolded This Morning:
08.20am: Shots fired at Building 179 on the Naval Sea
Systems Command headquarters in Washington D.C. where about 3,000 people work.
08.30am: Base police enter the building followingreports of an active shooter
08.40am: First responders arrive at the scene asloudspeakers are heard telling people on the naval base to ‘shelter in place’
10.00am: The Navy reports one confirmed injury
10.06am: Roads and intersections closed around the Navy Yard as police cars and SWAT teams flood into the area
10.54am: Federal Aviation Agency grounds all flights at National Airport in D.C. due to Navy Yard incident
11.13am: First reports say three civilians, one metropolitan police officer and one officer on the naval base were shot
11.20am: Police report that a gunman has been shot dead
11.50am: Chief Medical Officer at George Washington Hospital confirms that they have taken three wounded – a police officer with bullet wounds to the leg; a female with gunshot wound to the shoulder; and a female with gunshot wounds to the head and hand
Midday: Washington Metropolitan Police Department Cathy Lanier says that one shooter is believed to be deceased at the scene while there are potentially two other shooters at large.
The potential shooters were believed to be dressed in military outfits
12.15pm: Woman who was shot in head confirmed dead, by medical staff at George Washington Hospital
12.20pm: President Obama makes a statement calling those who had been shot at the naval base ‘patriots’ and expresses his grief at another mass shooting
‘I heard lots of voices saying, “Let’s go! Now!” and in a minute or so I was outside.’
She spoke with MailOnline at a satellite parking lot adjacent to Nationals Park, where family members of Navy Yard employees met their loved ones.
Although she emerged unscathed, Pat said she would have felt safer if she had been permitted to carry her own gun to work.
‘I’m a gun owner, and so is my husband,’ Pat said, ‘but I work in D.C. so I can’t carry a weapon. Now I wish they would let us do it anyway. I felt like a fool walking around unarmed after shots were fired.’
SWAT officers, military police, U.S. Capitol police and Washington city police all rushed to respond.
Monday’s shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. has, currently, ‘no known connection to terrorism,’ according to an early internal Department of Homeland Security document obtained by The Daily Caller.
‘Metropolitan Police is responding to reports of shots fired at the Washington Navy Yard Base,’ the DHS report reads.
‘Multiple units responding including SWAT unit at this time. Subject allegedly has multiple weapons.’
Earlier, according to a source at the Joint Terrorism Task Force there is no evidence that the attack is terror related at this time.
‘There are 12 dead including the shooter. The entire JTTF is active on the case. But there is no conclusion that it’s terror-related but DHS is leading the investigation and police are searching for two more suspects,’ a law enforcement source told MailOnline.
Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, President Obama said that ‘We send our thoughts and prayers to all the Navy Yard who have been touched by this tragedy.’
The president spoke of how the spectre of mass shootings had reared its head in America again and said that despite the Navy Yards housing civilians as well as military personnel,’Today they faced the unimaginable violence they wouldn’t have expected at home.’
U.S. Capitol Police said they were stepping up security on the Capitol grounds and the White House.
Washington Metropolitan Police told WRC-TV that nearby schools were being locked down, and that some bridges were closed as a precautionary measure.
Read more: THE DAILY MAIL