Names of Washington Navy Yard Victims Released, Base Partially Reopens

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 17 2013 9:30 AM

Names of Washington Navy Yard Victims Released, Base Partially Reopens

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A US Navy sailor arrives at the front gate of the Washington Naval Yard September 17, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

The morning after the deadly shooting that took at least 13 lives, the Washington Navy Yard reopened on Tuesday morning with essential personnel returning to work, the Washington Post reports.

According to authorities, Aaron Alexis, a former Navy Reservist, killed 12 people, shot and injured three individuals, and wounded five others at the Naval base on Monday. (Here’s more about what we know about Alexis as details trickle out.) The FBI is treating the shooting as a criminal investigation, not a terrorism related case, according to the New York Times.

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Late Monday evening, authorities began releasing the names of the victims.

The exact details of what transpired are still taking shape as authorities sift through evidence, but law enforcement say they engaged Alexis in a series of shootouts, before he was fatally wounded. “There’s no question [Alexis] would have kept shooting,” said D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier told the Washington Post.

Alexis had three weapons on him: an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun and a semiautomatic pistol, a senior law enforcement officer told the New York Times. "It was unclear whether he had brought all the guns with him, another law enforcement official said, or if he had taken one or more of them from his victims," the Times reports.

The shooting began at the Navy Yard at approximately 8:20 a.m., beginning a day where people in the area were warned to stay at home or in their offices, the Senate complex was locked down in the early afternoon, flights were briefly grounded at Reagan National airport, local schools were shut down, and nearby the Washington Nationals evening baseball game was postponed.

Here's more on the immediate aftermath of the shooting from the Times:

The tension in the city was heightened for much of the day as the police said they were unsure whether Mr. Alexis had acted alone. Officials said surveillance video of people fleeing the scene of the shooting showed two armed men dressed in different military uniforms and wielding guns. For hours, the police said they believed that there might have been three gunmen and that two of them were on the loose in the city.
The reports of multiple suspects generated confusion across Washington as the authorities offered conflicting messages about any continuing danger. Officials did not move to secure the city, leaving the city’s subway system to operate normally.

Adding to the fear and confusion, a man was arrested on Monday evening for reportedly throwing lit fireworks over the White House fence.

President Obama addressed the shooting briefly on Monday afternoon calling it a “cowardly act.” "So we are confronting yet another mass shooting, and today it happened on a military installation in our nation’s capital," the president said. "It’s a shooting that targeted military and civilian personnel. These are men and women going to work, doing their job protecting all of us. They’re patriots, and they know the dangers of serving abroad, but today they faced the unimaginable violence that they wouldn’t have expected here at home."

This post has been updated.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.