- (Photo: Screenshot/CBS News)
The gunman who killed at least 12 victims in a shooting rampage at the Washington Naval Yard on Monday has been identified by police as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, a New York City native who worked as a petty officer in the Navy and then as a civilian contractor. He was killed by authorities on Monday after opening fire at the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters in the nation's capital.
The FBI said in a Monday evening press conference that it is still working to gather information on Alexis, who allegedly entered the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters shortly before 8:20 a.m. and began spraying the office building with bullets. Alexis was reportedly carrying an AR-15 military-style semi-automatic rifle, a double-barreled shotgun and a handgun.
The gunman was killed by authorities at the scene of the bloody massacre that left at least 12 people dead and multiple people injured, according to authorities. The deceased gunman is described in FBI posters as a 6'1" African-American male born in 1979 and weighing 190 pounds.
"No piece of information is too small," authorities said at a news conference today regarding details of Alexis' life. So far, FBI reports indicate that Alexis is originally from the Queens borough of New York City, and some of his family members still live in Brooklyn, NYC. It is believed that Alexis most recently lived in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was charged with a misdemeanor in 2010 for the illegal discharging of his firearm. Fort Worth police reports indicate Alexis claimed he had accidentally discharged his firearm while cleaning it in his apartment.
Alexis reportedly began his career with the U.S. Navy as a third-class petty officer in May 2007, when he worked as an aviation electrician's mate until he was discharged in January 2011 for misconduct. According to The Washington Post, he then worked as a civilian contractor for a company called The Experts on a federal contract for the Navy Marine Corps Intranet network, a job that possibly brought him to the Navy yard in Washington, D.C.
Monday morning's mass shooting proved to be the deadliest shooting on a U.S. military installation since the 2009 Fort Hood shooting. President Barack Obama said in a statement that the victims in the shooting were "patriots," and vowed that federal authorities and police would combine forces to "make sure whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible."
Earlier in the day, law enforcement officials said that a second suspect may have been involved. The suspect was identified as an African-American male in his 40's wearing an olive-drab military style uniform. As the day continued, however, law enforcement officials said it was becoming increasingly unlikely that Alexis had carried out the shooting with an accomplice.
Authorities have been clear in mentioning that the tragic situation from the navy yard earlier today remains fluid as the FBI and local police continue to piece together the events of the morning. Authorities have suggested that Alexis possibly entered the highly-guarded navy grounds using someone else's identification card. The navy ship yard headquarters is located in Washington D.C.'s southeast quadrant and includes about 3,000 daily workers. The facility focuses on the building and maintenance of Navy ships and their combat systems.