Pentagon offers resources as Navy shooting response continues
WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2013 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is making Defense Department resources available to Navy officials as they deal with a still-unfolding shooting incident at the Washington Navy Yard that reportedly has left some people dead and several others injured, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.
"Everyone here at the Department of Defense is saddened by the incident at the Washington Navy Yard this morning,” Little said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims.”
Hagel is following the situation closely, Little said, and the commander of the Military District of Washington is determining the operational and security status of military installations in the national capital region.
“Individual installation commanders have the authority to change their operating status at their discretion,” the press secretary said. “While the Pentagon remains open, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency increased its security posture, not out of a specific threat, but as a proactive, precautionary measure.”
Little stressed that the situation remains fluid. Navy officials are working closely with law enforcement and emergency management representatives from the FBI and the District of Columbia to secure the scene and begin the investigation, he added.
An active shooter was reported inside the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters building at 8:20 a.m. EDT, officials said.
“Emergency personnel remain on scene, and a ‘shelter in place’ order has been issued for Navy Yard personnel,” a Navy news release said.
The Naval Sea Systems Command's headquarters is the workplace for about 3,000 people. The organization is composed of command staff, headquarters directorates, affiliated program executive offices and numerous field activities. The command engineers, builds, buys and maintains ships, submarines and combat systems and is the largest of the Navy's five system commands.
A White House statement said President Barack Obama has been briefed several times about the unfolding situation by Lisa Monaco, his assistant for homeland Security and counterterrorism, and Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco.
The president directed his team to stay in touch with federal partners, including the Navy and FBI, as well as the local officials, the statement said.
Family members looking for information about their loved ones can contact the Navy Yard’s Warfighter and Family Support Center at 202-433-6151 or 202-433-9713.