Washington, DC…The following remarks were prepared for delivery by FBI Washington Assistant Director in Charge Valerie Parlave concerning the September 16, 2013 shootings at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.
As we have progressed past the initial 24 hours after yesterday’s shootings at the Washington Navy Yard, we wanted to take a moment to provide an update on the investigation. I am joined today by Chief Lanier of MPD; Michael Monroe, Special Agent in Charge of NCIS; U.S. Attorney Ron Machen; Chief Chambers of the U.S. Park Police; Carl Vasilko of ATF; and Chief Ellerbe of D.C. Fire and EMS.
I would first like to commend and thank the agencies you see here with me today, as well as many others. We continue to actively work together, and the partnerships and cooperation among us are vital to the progress of this investigation.
As briefed last night, we believe at this time that the deceased shooter, Aaron Alexis, acted alone. As such, with no other suspects at large, the investigation has moved into a phase of evidence recovery and information gathering. We have 13 confirmed fatalities, to include the shooter, all of whom have been positively identified.
Our Evidence Response Teams remain at the Navy Yard and continue to process the scenes. As I mentioned last night, this is a methodical and time-intensive process that includes bullet trajectory analysis and crime scene mapping, and, with the assistance of Evidence Response personnel from our Baltimore and Richmond Field Offices, we will remain there for as long as necessary to carefully process each shooting site.
In regards to the weapons used by Mr. Alexis, there has been a lot of information circulating in the media over the past day. Once again, we caution against obtaining information from unofficial sources, and we ask that all inquiries be directed to the FBI.
At this time, we believe that Mr. Alexis entered Building 197 at the Navy Yard with a shotgun. We do not have any information at this time that he had an AR-15 in his possession. We also believe Mr. Alexis may have gained access to a handgun once inside the facility and after he began shooting. As previously mentioned, Mr. Alexis had legitimate access to the Navy Yard as a result of his work as a contractor, and he utilized a valid pass to gain entry to the building.
We also continue to conduct all other necessary investigation to learn about the activities and contacts of Mr. Alexis. We continue to conduct interviews, exploit digital media, and run down every lead we can to piece together his recent movements and to determine the motive behind this attack. We can say that we have determined that Mr. Alexis arrived in the Washington, D.C. area on or about August 25th, and he has stayed at local hotels in the area since that time.
Most recently, he is known to have stayed at a Residence Inn in Southwest Washington, D.C., starting on September 7th. We ask anyone who may have had contact with him during this time, or previously, to contact the FBI with that information.
As a result of the public’s cooperation thus far, we have received hundreds of tips which we continue to follow up. This investigative activity is not only taking place here in Washington, D.C., but in various cities across the country where Mr. Alexis has spent time.
We are greatly appreciative of the public’s cooperation, and we again ask anyone who may have knowledge of Mr. Alexis to report that information to the FBI. No piece of information is too small.
We also continue to put forth other FBI assets towards this investigation. Our Office of Victim Assistance is working together with MPD and the Department of Defense to provide resources and support to victims and next of kin. We also have personnel from our Behavioral Analysis Unit assisting in the investigation as we try to determine the motivation behind the shootings.
We continue to look into Mr. Alexis’ past, including his medical and criminal histories. But, because that part of the investigation is still ongoing, we will not comment further on it at this time.
Once again, I’d like to thank our partner agencies and all those who participated in yesterday’s response. I’d also like to thank all of the individuals who work at the Navy Yard for their cooperation and patience during a long and trying day.
And, I want to again extend my thanks to the public for their continued support. Please continue to report any and all information regarding Mr. Alexis by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI—that is, 1-800-225-5324.
Thank you. I’d now like to invite Chief Lanier to say a few words.
The FBI would also like to direct individuals to support-related services.
The center is available for those with deceased family members or for injured victims. Available resources include employee benefits, crime victims’ compensation, and counseling.
Family Support Center
Supporting and Guiding Families Affected by the Navy Yard Tragedy
Beginning Tuesday, September 17, 2013, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Joint Base Warfighter and Family Support Center
(Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Airforce Base)
1118 Brookley Avenue, Maryland