A US Navy commander told Monday how he saw a co-worker shot in the head just a few feet from him, during mass shooting on a Washington base that left at least 12 people dead.
Navy officer Tim Jirus told reporters the man from the Washington Navy Yard’s maintenance department was felled by gunshots as workers scrambled out of buildings following reports of a shooter on the rampage.
Jirus told CNN he had evacuated workers in his department after hearing what sounded like “muffled shots” from a different part of the base.
While struggling to understand what was going on, a man from the base’s maintenance department spoke to Jirus.
Another witness told NBC News how she saw the gunman silently open fire on her and co-workers — but miss.
Durham, a civilian employee, said she was evacuating her third floor office when she saw the gunman standing about 40 yards away at the opposite end of a hallway.
One of Durham’s co-workers, Todd Brundivge, said the gunman had acted with a chilling detachment.
US authorities said Monday another gunman may have been involved in the attack. One shooter was believed to be dead at the scene while two more male suspects wearing military-style uniforms may still be at large, police said. One of those men was later eliminated as a suspect.
Jirus meanwhile said personnel at the base are required to have key cards to access the building but visitors were required to check in with security.
Another witness, Patricia Ward, said she had just paid for breakfast at the base’s cafeteria when the carnage erupted.
Ward said workers at the base were not required to pass through metal detectors to get into the facility.
The shootings sent the US capital onto a state of maximum alert, with the immediate vicinity surrounding the Navy Yard locked down for several blocks in all directions.
Residents of the neighborhood were told to stay inside while authorities set up checkpoints at various intersections as the sky buzzed with with helicopters overhead.
Several schools were placed on lockdown while at the US Senate business was adjourned out of an “abundance of caution.”