Aaron-Alexis

At least 13 people are dead and several others were wounded after a gunman opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, police said, spreading fear and chaos across the region as authorities sought to contain the panic.

The incident, in which the death toll rose almost hourly, represents the single worst loss of life in the District since an airliner plunged into the Potomac River in 1982, killing 78.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced the mounting number of casualties in a series of news conferences. The suspected shooter, identified by the FBI as Aaron Alexis, 34, living in Fort Worth, is among the 13 dead. Alexis was a military contractor, one official said.

But even hours after the rampage began, it was still unclear whether the shooting was the act of a lone gunman, or if other shooters were involved. Lanier initially said authorities were looking for two more potential shooters dressed in military style clothing. But shortly after she announced a detailed description of two suspects, city officials said one had been located and cleared.

Gray said no motive is known yet. He said there is no reason to believe it was an act of terrorism, though he added that he could not rule it out.

Gray said that in addition to those killed, about a dozen people were hurt. It was not clear whether those people were shot or suffered other injuries, he said.

Lanier described the other possible suspect, who has not been located, as a black man in his 40s with gray sideburns, wearing an olive-drab military-style uniform. He, and the man who was cleared, came under suspicion when they were seen on surveillance videos.

Police are asking anyone with information on the suspect to call 202-727-9099.

Alexis was armed with an assault rifle and a handgun, two law enforcement officials said. One said he also had a shotgun. One official said all the weapons have not been accounted for.

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Navy Yard shooter identified with death toll currently sitting at 13

After a manhunt that at one point involved up to three possible suspected shooters, authorities have identified the Washington Navy Yard shooter as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, a former Navy electrician who was also a civilian government contractor.

A Navy officer has confirmed to the Times that Alexis had been discharged after multiple disciplinary infractions.

Alexis, who is among the 13 who have died so far, entered the massive headquarters of the Navy Sea Systems Command in southeastern D.C. and opened fire on employees, with a number of witnesses recounting this morning’s harrowing events.

“I think it was all on the fourth floor,” Patricia Ward, one of the witnesses, told reporters.

Ward, a logistics management specialist, was in Building 197 when the shooting started. She said she was in the lobby using the ATM machine when she heard three shots. She said she started “panicking.” She said she didn’t know what was going on. Then she heard four more shots. A security guard with a gun drawn told them to run, she said. “I just ran. I thought of my family and I just ran.” Someone had pulled the fire alarm.

Read more over at Nation Now as we find out more.

Photos: FBI, Susan Walsh / Associated Press, Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images

A guy on 4chan made the most brilliant and succinct argument I’ve read in a while regarding the self-absorbed stupidity of aggressive gun rights activists. I should have printscreened it, but this was before the DC shooting, so I’ll try to recite it as best I can.

You want to own a gun so badly because you never know what will happen? Someone might break in, someone might try to mug you, you never know? Okay, so then, do you carry around a vehicle glass cracker in case your car goes into the river? An epipen in case you’re allergic to something you don’t know yet? Portable defibrillator in case you have a heart attack? Do you keep a parachute in your plane’s carry-on? Do you even carry a spare set of keys in case you lock your first one in the car? No? Of course not. All you care about is owning that long, black gun because movies have convinced you that it’s cool.

Washington gunman was a Buddhist with a hot temper that led to run-ins with police over past shootings

Aaron Alexis seems a study in contradictions: a former Navy reservist, a Defense Department contractor, a convert to Buddhism who was taking an online course in aeronautics. But he also had flashes of temper that led to run-ins with police over shootings in Fort Worth, Texas, and Seattle.

A profile began to emerge of the man authorities identified as the gunman in a mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., that left 13 people dead, including the 34-year-old man. While some neighbours and acquaintances described him as “nice,” his father once told detectives in Seattle that his son had anger management problems related to post-traumatic stress brought on by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He also complained about the Navy and being a victim of discrimination. (AP Photo/Kristi Kinard Suthamtewakul)

Everything is backwards.
  • Can we talk about how the domestic terrorism suspect in the Navy Yard shootings had fired his guns on two separate occasions and was somehow never charged with a crime?  Or that he had been discharged from the military but still was given unfettered access to a military installation?

If a shooter can get into a secure naval base with three guns, including an AR-15 which is a very scary looking semi-automatic weapon, how the fuck is giving teachers guns going to make anything better?

(Spoilers: It won’t.)

'Merica, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but nobody gives a crap about the mentally ill in this country until they do something violent/totally lose it.

And it’s a million times worse for people that have no health insurance.

As I said way back when…in December…when another person went & shot a bunch of people & ‘concerns’ about mental health got a bit of attention, the mentally ill in this country are often dismissed as not being 'dangerous enough’ or 'suicidal enough’ when they reach out for help. More often than not they’re more of a danger to themselves than they are a danger to 'others’. Statistically, mentally ill folks are more likely to have violence happen 'to’ them, not the other way around so don’t try the whole 'lock them up they’re all dangerous & ready to snap & get violent towards other people’ theory.

Let’s not sit here & act all stunned that somebody may have had 'mental problems’ & they were either not treated properly or not given any 'help’ at all. That’s how shit works in when it comes to mentally ill people.

Welcome to America.

Morning News Read Friday 20 September 2013.

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September 16, 2013:

Aaron Alexis carries out the Washington Navy Yard shooting. The attack, lasting slightly over an hour, leaves 12 others dead. Alexis enters Building 197 at 8:08am carrying a disassembled Remington 870 shotgun, with it’s barrel and stock sawed-off, in a backpack that he leaves hanging in the fourth-floor men’s bathroom.

Note the roll of purple duct tape in the backpack’s left pocket that matches tape on the shotgun, where the stock has been sawed-off.

Sorry Gun Fans, Reality Doesn’t Work that Way.

A recent news release is bad news for those who think everyone and their brother should be armed. From NPR:

Investigators now do not think there was a second shooter, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said late Monday evening. Throughout Monday, authorities had run down witness reports and other evidence indicating there might have been additional gunmen.

Aaron Alexis, acting alone, killed twelve people and died himself as a result of his rampage. And the fact that there was no second – or third – shooter is a terrible blow to the “arm everyone” argument, since it demonstrates panicked people aren’t extremely good at identifying shooters. Second shooter reports had other shooters wearing uniforms with guns drawn wandering around, causing havoc. But these “shooters” were most likely law enforcement. Had any one of these witnesses been armed, the tragedy would likely have been aggravated. The panicked witness might’ve fired on law enforcement and, given the situation, there’s no reason for the law enforcement personnel not to return fire.

Those arguing that workers in the Navy Yard were needlessly turned into sitting ducks by a “gun free zone” are wrong. They’ll no doubt be surprised to find out that everything they’ve learned from their countless hours playing “Call of Duty” is wrong. The real world works in a way contrary to what the “guns solve everything” crowd would have you believe. Given everything we know, more guns in that situation would’ve made things much worse, not better.

But of course these fantasy-based hypotheses don’t come from the brains of the people who repeat them, for the most part. They’re fed to these chumps by gun industry lobbyists who couldn’t care less if they live or die. For them, every mass shooting is both a problem and a gift. A problem in that it wakes up calls for common sense gun regulation. A gift in that their target audience are cowardly fools who see any act of violence as a good reason to buy more guns. So, after every mass shooting, gun sales go up as the gun lovers crap themselves in sheer terror. And at the same time, calls for gun regulations increase, as less fearful people realize that an armed society isn’t turning out to be anything close to a safer society.

But hey, let’s entertain the gun nuts fantasy anyway. Let’s say an armed killer enters a place where everybody has a gun and starts blasting. What might this look like?

CNN: A former Navy SEAL known for claiming a record number of sniper killings in Iraq was one of two men shot dead at a Texas gun range, allegedly at the hands of a fellow military veteran, officials say.

Chris Kyle, the author of the best-selling “American Sniper,” and Chad Littlefield, also a veteran, were gunned down Saturday afternoonon the grounds of the expansive Rough Creek Lodge and Resort in Glen Rose, Texas, southwest of Fort Worth, law enforcement officials said.

About four hours afterward, and 90 miles from where those two men’s bodies were found by a hunting guide, authorities arrested suspect Eddie Ray Routh, 25, on a capital murder warrant.



So two armed, combat-trained, and exceptionally capable veterans were murdered by a shooter – at a gun range, where everyone was armed. He is not stopped by Second Amendment Heroes at this point, but is able to run back to his car and escape, to be apprehended 90 miles away by law enforcement. It turns out that the difference between armed heroes among armed heroes and sitting ducks in a gun free zone is largely a sales job. Rough Creek Lodge and Resort can be happy that Routh fled before the cops showed up or all their Second Amendment Heroes might’ve wound up exchanging gunfire with “second shooters” who happened to be cops. As it is, all those guns did nothing to prevent tragedy or bring the killer to justice.

In fact, Aaron Alexis began his rampage with a shotgun. He died with a shotgun, a pistol, and an AR-15 assault rifle. He was collecting weapons as he went along. What weapons there were in the Yard didn’t stop him, they enabled him.

A gun free zone is no less safe from gun violence than a gun range. And people being fired upon suck at identifying shooters. The fact that employees at the Navy Yard aren’t allowed to carry weapons is blessing, not a curse. Anyone who believes otherwise is disinterested in the facts and reason. They’re only interested in rationalizing their cowardly over-reliance on firearms.

-Wisco

[image by niels97oet]