---- — WASHINGTON — At least four people were killed and eight wounded in a rampage that may have involved two shooters at the Washington Navy Yard Monday morning, Navy officials reported.
At least one shooter was killed by law enforcement officials in a building in the Navy Yard at roughly 10:30 a.m. local time, two hours after the shooting spree began, according to senior law enforcement officials. Officials were still searching the base for a possible second shooter.
Rear Admiral John Kirby, the head of Navy public affairs, cautioned that officials had “conflicting reports” about the number of shooters.
Navy spokesperson, Lt. Courtney Hilson, said the number of victims was still preliminary as authorities were clearing the Naval Sea Systems headquarters at the Navy Yard room by room. Workers at the sprawling base have been ordered to stay in their offices while the search continues.
As helicopters hovered above the base, first lowering stretchers to airlift victims to local hospitals and later circling the base in an apparent search effort, air traffic was briefly grounded at the nearby Reagan National Airport. Several area schools were put on lockdown.
Patricia Ward, a logistics management specialist, was in building 197 at 820 when the shooting started. She said she was in the lobby using the ATM machine when she heard three shots. She said she started “panicking.” She said she didn’t know what was going on. Then she heard four more shots. A security guard with a gun drawn told them to run, she said. “I just ran. I thought of my family and I just ran.” Someone had pulled the fire alarm.
Ward said that to get into the building you have to scan an ID card and put your bags through a metal detector but that there is no metal detector for the body. She said that may be how the shooters got weapons in.
“An active shooter was reported” at roughly 8:20 a.m. inside the headquarters building, according to the Navy.
A D.C. police officer and a base security officer were among the reported victims.
About 3,000 people, both civilian and military, work at the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters.
Navy Capt. Danny Rodriguez said he was in an adjoining Navy Yard building when the shooting started.
“Everybody rushed in,” to the building where he was, and security guards locked down the facility.
“It was pretty orderly,” he said.
Rodriguez said in a cellphone conversation that the lockdown was still in effect.
A White House official reported that President Barack Obama had been briefed on the situation.
“The president has been briefed several times about the unfolding situation at the Washington Navy Yard by Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco and Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco,” the spokesman said.
“The president directed his team to stay in touch with our federal partners, including the Navy and FBI, as well as the local officials. We urge citizens to listen to the authorities and follow directions from the first responders on site.”