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The Blue & Gray Press | June 24, 2018

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Naval yard shooting takes 12 lives

BY COLLEEN HUBER

On Monday, Sept. 16, at approximately 8 a.m., 12 people were killed and eight wounded in a shooting at the Washington D.C. Navy Yard.

Former petty officer Aaron Alexis, 34 years old, had access to the navy yard due to civilian contracting. Alexis, a former Navy reservist, suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) post 9/11. Alexis also had previous issues in the Navy and with the police, according to NBC News.

The gunfire lasted approximately 30 minutes and ceased when Alexis was fatally shot after exchanging gunfire with officers who came to the defense of the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command.

Alexis was armed with an assault style rifle, a shotgun and a handgun. Officials believe he was only carrying the shotgun when he arrived on site.

Alexis worked for Hewlett Packard Enterprises, a subcontractor that does work in the Navy Yard, according to NBC News.

Authorities said that none of the victims were active-duty military personnel.

The shooting was the deadliest U.S. shooting since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut on Dec. 14 2012, and was also the deadliest on a U.S. military installation since 13 people where killed in 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas.

The first shots were recorded at 8:20 a.m. at the Sea Systems Command Headquarters. Around 3,000 people work at the headquarters and were told to stay where they were, according to NBC News.

For the majority of the day, police were unsure whether or not Alexis was acting alone.  However, in the evening, Chief of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, Cathy Lanier, said that they later believed he was working alone, according to an article in POLITICO.

The Senate was closed down due to the shootings and no one was allowed to leave or enter the Senate complex, according to POLITICO.

President Barack Obama called the shooting a “cowardly act” in an address to the nation Monday afternoon.