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Military base shooting in DC

At approximately 8:20 AM EST today, Monday, September 16, 2013, shots were reported to be fired at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. There was chaos on the base as a gunman(s) took three shots from a fourth floor overlook into the first floor cafeteria in Building 197. As of 4:00 PM EST the gunman is one of the suspected dead, although there is evidence on video surveillance as well as witness testimony that there is one additional gunman currently on the run. There are at least 13 people dead and at least a dozen more wounded.

The one shooter who was found dead at the scene was identified by three officers as Aaron Alexis, a military contractor in his 30’s from Texas, according to The Washington Post.

D.C. Police Captain Cathy Lanier described the missing suspect as a black man in his mid-40’s with graying sideburns. He was last seen wearing a olive-drab military style uniform. All of the weapons suspected to be used in the shooting have not yet been accounted for, so the suspect may be armed.

All of the wounded are expected to recover after surgery. Included in the wounded are at least two D.C. police officers and a base officer. The building fired upon employs over 3,000 people, military and civilian workers. Among these is Nay Commander Tim Jirus, who detailed his brush with death this morning to the Associated Press. Jirus, who works in Building 197, said that as he was evacuating the building he saw one of his co-workers who had been shot being loaded into a police car. At that time he heard more shots being fired and sought shelter in an alley. There was another man in the alley with whom he spoke about the situation. Jirus remembers hearing two shots that were loud and close, causing him to look in the direction of the noise. When he did, he found the man he had just been speaking with shot in the head. Jirus immediately ran, uncertain where the shooter was at the time. “I was just lucky” The Washington Post reports Jirus saying about the situation.

The Washington Post also quotes David Stevens, a Navy contractor as saying “It’s unbelievable that someone could get a rifle in there — if that’s what the shooter had.” Stevens told the reporter the extensive security measures taken to gain entrance to the base. President Obama has expressed his sympathy and says that justice must be sought.

This is not the first time a military installation has been targeted. The House Armed Services Committee is keeping close tabs on this case and seeking justice for those injured and killed. For up to the minute updates on this story you can visit The Washington Post online at this link. The big question is, “how safe are we”? This was a high level military installation and yet gunmen can still get in and do real damage. All of this is a new occurrence and we seem unable to prevent thing like this from happening. What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below.

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