By Balitang America Staff
Sept. 16, 2013
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – At least 13 are dead, including the gunman, in a shooting this morning at a U.S. Navy Yard, located just about three miles from the White House. The shooter has been identified by the FBI as Navy veteran, Aaron Alexis. The 34-year old was discharged from the Navy in 2011 for a series of disciplinary cases.
Officials are still trying to determine what may have caused Alexis to go on a shooting rampage. In 2004, Alexis was reportedly involved in another shooting incident, in which he allegedly shot the rear tires of a vehicle owned by a construction worker doing work in his neighborhood. He told police that he had a “blackout” and was enraged after being “mocked” and “disrespected” by the workers.
The Brooklyn native also reportedly told police that was around during “the tragic events of September 11, 2011” and said “those events disturbed him”.
Authorities said at 8:20 a.m, Alexis, armed with an AR-15 and dressed in all black, fired several shots inside the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems command at the Navy Yard complex in Southeast Washington, D.C.
Other shooters have been ruled out by authorities.
About 3,000 people work there — civilians, military personnel and contractors — who build, buy and maintain Navy ships and submarines.
One of witnesses who spoke to CNN said, “As we were exiting the back door, we noticed him down the hall. And as he came around the corner, he aimed his gun at us and fired at least three shots and we ran down the stairs. When we left, there were still shots in the building.”
“I heard three shots. Thirty seconds later, I heard four more shots and a couple of us that were in the cafeteria knew they were shots and started panicking,” said another witness.
The Philippine Embassy took to social media to tell people at 11:40 a.m. that there are close to 75,000 Filipinos in Washington, D.C. and the suburbs, and that some are working in the Washington Navy Yard, located just four miles from the Philippine Embassy.
“Several Filipinos working in Washington Navy Yard told the Philippine Embassy they are okay but have been told to ‘shelter in place,’ said another tweet from the Philippine Embassy at 11:46 a.m.
Another tweet from the Philippine Embassy at 11:48 a.m. said, “Ambassador (Jose) Cuisia monitoring situation and has issued instructions to check situation of Filipinos working in Washington Navy Yard.”
Philippine officials said, so far, there are no reported Filipino nationals who were injured or killed in the tragedy.
In a Skype interview with Balitang America today, Eric Lachica, one of the Filipino community leaders in Washington, D.C. and the organizer for U.S. Medicare Philippines said one of his friends, Filipina Annie Wiederman, works there.
“I was informed by her co-worker who spoke to her, and she said she’s okay and that building #200 where they were at was locked down,” said Lachica.
Lachica said that Wiederman has been released from lockdown and declined Balitang America’s request for interview at this time due to her emotional condition at this time.
Lachica said that the number of Filipinos working the Navy Yard is still undetermined. He added that some Filipinos living close to the area are concerned for their safety, but are thankful that they were not impacted by the tragedy.