Federal Offices Near Navy Yard Slowly Lift Lockdowns

Emergency personnel respond to a reported shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. Emergency personnel respond to a reported shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

This story has been updated. 

The Transportation Department headquarters has lifted its lockdown after a shooting at the nearby Washington Navy Yard, according to an agency spokeswoman.

The department has two buildings just outside the Navy Yard, where authorities say 13 individuals were shot and killed Monday morning. The shooter -- identified by the FBI and the Defense Department as former Navy Aviation Electricians Mate 3rd Class Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old from Ft. Worth, Texas -- was among those killed. He reportedly was working for an IT subcontractor on a major technology project. The FBI is seeking information on another individual who may have been involved in the shooting.

Some employees on the Navy Yard have been released from their buildings and met family members in designated areas outside the base, though as of 8:30 p.m. about 2,000 civilians remained on base, according to The Washington PostVice Adm. Bill French, the head of all Navy installations, told the Post it could take several more hours until 11 p.m. or later to get everyone off the base. 

Some employees were forced to leave without their cars, and Metro and the Uber taxi service are offering free rides home.

The Navy Yard will be closed Tuesday to all but essential personnel, as law enforcement personnel -- led by the FBI -- continue to investigate. A Transportation spokeswoman would not comment on the future status of the department’s headquarters.

Several federal facilities deployed increased security measures Monday, including the Defense Department at the Pentagon; the Housing and Urban Development Department at its headquarters; the U.S. Postal Service at various post offices; and the Capitol Building, which also instituted a lockdown.

President Obama called for a “seamless response” in which local and federal authorities work together. Local police have coordinated with U.S. Park Police and the FBI, officials said.

In due time, Obama said, the nation will turn its attention to the federal employees who were victims of the shooting.

“We will honor their service to the nation they helped to make great,” Obama said.

The organization that provides financial assistance to federal employees in need, including after tragedies, is poised to help federal workers and their families affected by the shooting. “We won't know exactly what our response will be until we know who the victims are, but it is likely we will try to offer help to the families of deceased or injured civilian feds,” said Robyn Kehoe, director of field operations at the Federal Employees Education and Assistance Fund, by email.

J. David Cox Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said “our hearts and prayers go out to all of the employees and families affected by the shooting and to the police, emergency and rescue workers who bravely responded to the scene.” The union represents hundreds of federal employees at the Navy Yard in Washington. 

Kellie Lunney contributed to this report

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.