A military veteran opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday killing 12 people and setting off waves of panic at the military installation just miles from the White House and U.S. Capitol.
The suspect was identified by the FBI as Aaron Alexis, 34, of Fort Worth, Texas, a Navy contractor who had two gun-related brushes with the law. He was discharged from the Navy Reserve in 2011 after a series of misconduct issues, a Navy official said.
He was killed in one of several gun battles with police after he entered the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters about 8:20 a.m. EDT and started picking off victims in a cafeteria from a fourth-floor atrium, witnesses said.
That set off pandemonium, with fire alarms sounding and security officers yelling at people to leave the building. Hundreds fled, some scrambling over walls to escape the gunfire. A loudspeaker announcement ordered those who remained to stay in their offices.
The motive remained unknown. He was armed with an AR-15 military-style assault rifle, a double-barreled shotgun and a handgun, a federal law enforcement source said.
Investigators earlier were pursuing a possible second gunman but later said there were no suspects beyond Alexis. The incident has raised questions about security at the Washington Navy Yard, about a mile south of the U.S. Capitol and 3 miles from the White House.