GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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September 17, 2013

Death toll at 13 in D.C. shooting spree

WASHINGTON (AP) — A shooting rampage at a U.S. Navy command complex in Washington left at least 13 people dead Monday, including a Navy veteran identified as the gunman, authorities said.

Aaron Alexis, 34, a civilian contractor from Fort Worth, was identified by officials as a shooter killed by officers responding to the morning attack at the Washington Navy Yard. A military official said Alexis had been a Navy reservist on active duty before being discharged for misconduct.

The carnage and desperate efforts by responding officers to stop the shooting gripped the nation’s capital city in a tense, day-long drama just miles from the U.S. Capitol and White House.

Hours after reporting that Alexis was dead, city officials said they had not entirely ruled out the possibility another shooter was involved.

Officials said at least three people were wounded in the gunfire inside building 197 at the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters at Washington Navy Yard, including a law enforcement officer. Hospital officials said all three were expected to recover.

Hundreds of workers in the Navy complex were forced to hide in place or flee for safety while gunshots echoed from a gunman firing into the cafeteria and other parts of the building.

Just a mile or so away at the U.S. Capitol, the Senate temporarily locked down all its offices and buildings. The U.S. House was not in session but did not suspend office functions.

President Obama said he is mourning “yet another mass shooting” and vowed to ensure “whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible.”

Washington Mayor Vincent Gray said the death toll, including a gunman, was 13. The situation remained fluid, and officials cautioned that the death toll could change.

Gray said the shootings did not appear to be terrorism related but said the possibility had not been ruled out.

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