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Texas man ID'd as shooter in DC attack that killed 12
UPDATE: By DAVID CRARY
AP National Writer
Defense officials say Aaron Alexis, identified as the gunman who opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard, was a full-time Navy reservist from 2007 to 2011 and worked recently as a Defense Department contractor.
He also prayed at a Buddhist temple, was taking online course in aeronautics and was involved in past shooting incidents which attracted police attention in Seattle and Fort Worth, Texas.
It was not immediately clear why Alexis left the reserves, who his latest employer was, or what his motives might have been for going on a rampage. He was one of 13 people killed during Monday's shootings.
Police in Seattle say Alexis was arrested there in 2004 for shooting out the tires of another man's vehicle in what he described to detectives as an anger-fueled "blackout."
A gunman suspected in the killing of at least eleven people at a Navy building in Washington has been identified as Aaron Alexis, 34, of Texas, Fox News has learned, although police were searching for a second possible suspect in the attack.
Police were operating under the theory that the gunman may not have acted alone, although one person being sought was later found and cleared. Alexis was killed in the shooting, which broke out just after 8 a.m. at the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters in southeast Washington.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier told reporters that 12 people died in the early morning incident at the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters in southeast Washington. There were conflicting reports on the number of victims and the number of gunmen in the ensuing hours, although a federal law enforcement official told Fox News that one shooter has died. Police said as many as two additional gunmen wearing military-style uniforms may still be at large and thousands of workers at the building were told to "shelter in place" until officials could safely evacuate them.
"This is not over," Rear Admiral John Kirby, the U.S. Navy's chief spokesman, told reporters. "The building is still in lockdown, as are other buildings. Still being treated as an active search. No one is moving right now."
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said investigators had not identified a motive for the shooting. There was no indication that the incident was an act of terrorism, he said.
Many who managed to escape in the early minutes of the episode recalled panic and fear after a shooter, described as a tall, African-American man with an AR-15, opened fire.
"They sounded like 'pop, pop, pop,'" said Patricia Ward, a logistics management specialist who was in the cafeteria. "Everybody just panicked at first ... It was just people running, running, running.
"I just kept running," Ward said. "Our mission is to take care of the Navy ... After today, it's not secure enough for me."
Police sources earlier told The Washington Post that as many as three shooters, including one in military fatigues, were involved in the mass shooting.
Lanier said the first call came in just after 8:15 a.m., and that officers were on the scene within seven minutes. She said one member of her department was shot after engaging with a shooter, who she said was killed. Lanier initially said there were "potentially two other shooters" at large, although one white male who was being sought was later cleared.
Hours after police responded, authorities continued to search for suspects, and low-flying helicopters were spotted circling above the scene, dropping baskets to evacuate people from the complex.
Rick Mason, a program management analyst who is a civilian with the U.S. Navy, said a gunman was shooting from a fourth floor overlook in the hallway outside his office. Mason said the gunman was aiming down at people in the building's cafeteria on the first floor, adding that he could hear the shots but could not see a gunman.
Shortly after the gunfire, Mason said overhead speakers told workers to seek shelter and later to head for the gates at the complex.
People who were inside the building said a gunman wordlessly sprayed fire from an AR-15 assault rifle as terrified civilians and Navy members scattered.
"We saw him hold the rifle, and we saw him aim it in our direction," a witness told FoxNews.com.
Another witness told WJLA: "We were looking, but he was down the hall far enough that we couldn't see a face. But we saw him hold the rifle and then we saw him raise it and aim in our direction."
Naval Sea Systems Command is the largest of the Navy's five system commands and accounts for a quarter of the Navy's entire budget. It builds, buys and maintains the Navy's ships and submarines and their combat systems.
Out of an abundance of caution, U.S. Capitol Police will conduct enhanced security operations on the Capitol Complex, although no known threat exists. Up to eight nearby schools were also reportedly locked down as a precautionary measure.
White House officials, in a statement released shortly after the shooting, confirmed that President Obama had been briefed on the incident.
"The President directed his team to stay in touch with our federal partners, including the Navy and FBI, as well as the local officials," the statement read. "We urge citizens to listen to the authorities and follow directions from the first responders on site."
Obama later promised to make sure those responsible for the "cowardly act" are held accountable.
More than 20 members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) responded to the scene, including the same Special Response Team that extracted the alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the boat where he barricaded himself following the April 15 attack.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/09/16/active-shooter-at-washington-navy-yard/#ixzz2f5TdA6Po