Navy shooting rampage death toll, 13
Sep 17, 2013 / 7:07 am
The deadly attack at the Washington Navy Yard was carried out by one of the military's own: a defence contract employee and former Navy reservist who used a valid pass to get onto the installation and started firing inside a building, killing 12 people before he was slain in a gun battle with police.
The motive for the mass shooting — the deadliest on a military installation in the U.S. since the tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009 — was a mystery, investigators said. But a profile of the lone gunman, a 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, was coming into focus. He was described as a Buddhist who had also had flares of rage, complained about the Navy and being a victim of discrimination and had several run-ins with law enforcement, including two shootings.
U.S. law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that Alexis had been suffering a host of serious mental issues, including paranoia and a sleep disorder. He also had been hearing voices in his head, the officials said. Alexis had been treated since August by the Veterans Administration for his mental problems, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the criminal investigation in the case was continuing.
The Navy had not declared him mentally unfit, which would have rescinded a security clearance Alexis had from his earlier time in the Navy Reserves.
Family members told investigators Alexis was being treated for his mental issues.
The officials also said there has been no connection to international or domestic terrorism and investigators have found no manifesto or other writings suggesting a political or religious motivation for the shooting.
Monday's onslaught at a single building at the highly secure Navy Yard unfolded about 8:20 a.m. in the heart of the nation's capital, less than four miles from the White House and two miles from the Capitol.
It put all of Washington on edge. Mayor Vincent Gray said there was no indication it was a terrorist attack, but he added that the possibility had not been ruled out.
"This is a horrific tragedy," Gray said.
Alexis carried three weapons: an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun, and a handgun that he took from a police officer at the scene, according to two federal law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation. The AR-15 is the same type of rifle used in last year's mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school that killed 20 students and six women. The weapon was also used in the shooting at a Colorado movie theatre that killed 12 and wounded 70.
Read more World News
- Art stolen from London gallery
- Man signing at Mandela memorial a fake
- Crane collapses on supermarket, 1 dead
- Stolen cobalt-60 finally removed by robot
- Bride shared little emotion over his death
- Police clash with protesters in Ukraine
- Another theft from Walker's crash
- First national marketplace for legal pot
- Convicted killer executed in Oklahoma
- Backcountry skier survives avalanche
- World leaders pay tribute to Mandela
- Sound sleeper locked inside empty plane
(Click for RSS instructions.)