Another National Tragedy

Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis previously arrested on gun charges in Texas

Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis previously arrested in Texas

Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.
At least 12 people are dead after a mass shooting at Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. Wikimedia Commons

A chaotic scene is playing out in Washington, D.C., where a deadly mass shooting took place this morning at Navy Yard. At least 12 people have been reported dead and dozens more injured at the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters.

Authorities originally believed as many as three shooters opened fire. The prominent theory now, however, is that 34-year-old Aaron Alexis of Fort Worth acted alone. He died at the scene along with a dozen of his victims.

According to reports from the Fort Worth Police Department and confirmed by Tarrant County spokesman Marc Flake, Alexis was previously arrested for "discharging a gun within the city limits."

The offense, which occurred September 4, 2010, took place at the Oak Hill Apartments at 2450 Oak Hill Road. Alexis reportedly fired a gun from the floor of his apartment through the ceiling of his neighbor in the floor above him.

At the time, Alexis' neighbor told police he had confronted her in the past about noise and she was "terrified" of him. Alexis deflected police attention by claiming the shooting was an accident that occurred while cleaning his gun. The firearm was covered in oil and located next to a cleaning kit when police arrived.

Alexis was booked into Fort Worth jail but it is unclear whether any further action was taken. Calls to Fort Worth Police Sheriff's Office were not immediately returned.

On September 16, Alexis was working as a civilian contractor for the Navy and reportedly entered the building using another man's ID card, who is believed to be recently demoted or discharged. Authorities don't currently believe Alexis and the man whose ID he used worked in concert. 

According to the a statement from the Navy, shots rang out around 8:20 am (Eastern time), and employees were told to shelter in place as emergency personnel worked to secure the area. 

Reports on the mass shooting have been frantic and fraught with errors, and concrete information about the attack is still scarce. No motive in the shooting has been identified.